A Note From Jordan About Prince of Persia

Hi, Jordan here. This page is about the 2003 game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, developed by Ubisoft Montreal, on which I had the pleasure to work as writer and game designer.

If you're wondering about the status of the next-gen Sands of Time remake, it's in active development at Ubisoft Montreal. More details are included in Ubisoft's latest update. You can register to receive future Prince of Persia remake updates from Ubisoft.

The newest game in the current Prince of Persia franchise, The Lost Crown, will be released in January 2024. It's a spectacular modern 2D Metroidvania relaunch of Prince of Persia from Ubisoft's Montpellier studio. If you're curious about my involvement with the project, you'll find answers in my blog post announcement about The Lost Crown. The latest details about the game, including links to pre-order, are on Ubisoft's official Prince of Persia site.

My most recent published work involving Prince of Persia is not a game, but a book, and a series of artworks. The comics panels below are from my graphic memoir Replay: Memoir of an Uprooted Family (now available in French, coming in English in March 2024). It interweaves episodes from my 40 years of Prince of Persia adventures with my personal and family stories.

My Sands of Time-inspired artwork "Dagger" (further below on this page) is available as a free wallpaper download, and as a limited-edition signed and numbered print, along with other videogame-inspired art on the Artworks page.

I've posted my original game script, pitch trailer, and other behind-the-scenes materials from the Sands of Time development in the Library.

If you're interested in the original 2D Prince of Persia (1989), you'll find its official game page here. The game-dev journal I kept during the making of that game is available as a book (in several languages), The Making of Prince of Persia.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Experience the classic journey that changed the face of action-adventure gaming.

In the mystical land of Persia, a young prince obtains an ancient dagger that can turn back time. Tricked by a treacherous vizier into unleashing a cataclysmic sandstorm, he must team up with an enemy princess in a harrowing journey to restore life and peace to their kingdoms.

Embody a legendary hero with gravity-defying acrobatics, ferocious fighting combos, and powers to bend time itself.

"A must-have. An incredibly beautiful and artistic game that manages to balance eye-candy and gameplay gimmickry with truly solid game design, all paced with perfection. 100/100"

— Computer Games Magazine (March 2004)

"Literally makes you forget you're playing a game, leaving you barely aware of your body and totally consumed by the action onscreen. 100/100"

— GameNow

"One of the best games ever made... Gaming wouldn't be the same without 'Prince of Persia'."

Washington Post (September 2020)

"Timeless... A game that will live long in memory, and needs to be played from time to time just to refresh the senses and reinvigorate the gamer inside us all. 9/10"

Eurogamer (March 2006)

Opening the Hourglass

In 2001 Ubisoft 's founder, Yves Guillemot, invited me to lunch in Paris. His proposal: Bring Prince of Persia — at that time a decade-old, "classic" (i.e., dead) game franchise — to the current generation of consoles.

It wasn't a slam-dunk. Broderbund's recent attempt at a 3D Prince of Persia had fizzled, treading ground already broken by Eidos's POP-inspired Tomb Raider. Nostalgia wouldn't be enough to excite PlayStation2/Xbox gamers too young to remember the original 2D POP. The new game had to stand on its own merits.

I flew to Montreal and joined a talented young French-Canadian team led by producer Yannis Mallat — first as creative consultant, then as scriptwriter, casting and directing the voice recording sessions, and finally coming on board full-time.

For the team, it was a chance to show the world a franchise reboot done right. For me, the project reawakened my joy in making video games after a four-year hiatus.

The Magic Dagger

Sands of Time was one of those creative collaborations when everything meshes. It became an underdog success story of 2003, sweeping that year's industry awards, catapulting POP back to the top of the charts and even onto French postage stamps. I will forever love Montreal, even in winter.

The game was a career milestone for many of us who worked on it, confirming Ubisoft Montreal's arrival as one of the world's top development studios.

It led me to my first professional screenwriting gig writing the Prince of Persia movie for Jerry Bruckheimer, while the core POP team went on to develop a sequel that became Assassin's Creed.

Ubisoft followed with four more major POP titles: Warrior Within, The Two Thrones, POP 2008, and The Forgotten Sands. To date, 20 million POP games have been sold. Not a bad second run, for an Apple II game hero who seemed to have run out of lives until he found that magic dagger full of sand.

For Prince of Persia's 30th anniversary, Stripe Press has published an illustrated, hardcover collector's edition of The Making of Prince of Persia journal I kept from 1985-1993. It is complemented by my graphic novel Replay. Behind-the-scenes and archival materials about Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time's development are available in the Library.

More by Jordan Mechner

Prince of Persia:
The Movie


Samak the Ayyar

The Last Express