NEW DELHI: French video game company Ubisoft will hand over the reins for the development of its upcoming Prince of Persia: Sands of Time remake to its Indian studios. The company today said its Mumbai and Pune studios will develop the game.
This is the first time that a AAA gaming title will be developed fully in India. AAA games are those with very high marketing and development budgets and are usually marked by the most modern graphics and technology.
Prince of Persia itself is a franchise that has etched its place in the history of gaming. The Sands of Time was first published by Ubisoft in 2003 and gained critical acclaim for its level design, graphics, and more. The company says this new remake will rethink the game from the ground up, including new puzzles, new motion capture animation and more.
Essentially, while the game’s story line might remain the same, the overall gameplay will change almost fully. The company claims that the camera controls for the game have also been reimagined, along with the combat system.
The new version of Sands of Time will run on the Anvil game engine, which is the same engine Ubisoft users for the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise.
With the Indian government’s ban on the popular battle royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG) Mobile, the focus on India’s game development industry has increased. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also called for making games in India recently, saying the country should be a leader in digital gaming.
Ubisoft’s decision to have its India studios handle development work could be a sign that the country’s studios are ready to take on the competition on a global scale. The company acquired its Pune studio from Gameloft in 2008 and the Mumbai studio was set up two years ago, and though its teams in India have been involved in big money titles before, they have never handled the development fully, as they are this time.
Unlike mobile games, fantasy sports, and gambling — which are the leading segments in gaming in India — AAA titles require a lot more expertise and time. The development of such games can’t happen in months and also requires specialized skillsets for completion. They usually take years, and given that Ubisoft already has a trailer to show, it’s likely that the Mumbai and Pune studios have been at it for a while now.