Prince of Persia Producer Dismayed by Lack of 'Pats on the Back,' Wonders If Gamers Want Innovation

A lack of appreciation for the numerous "risks" developer Ubisoft Montreal took with the recently released Prince of Persia (PC, PS3, 360) has left producer Ben Mattes wondering if gamers really want innovation, or if the studio fell short of its lofty goals.

"We set out to keep a few core fundamentals but to re-imagine everything else, discarding some very well entrenched ideas not only about the brand but also about video games in general," Mattes explained to IGN. nope

"What surprises me is how little these high level risks seem to be noticed and appreciated as attempts to shake up the industry and push things forward," he noted. "Perhaps I'm an idealist, but I think I was expecting a few more virtual pats-on-the-back for our attempts to do something new."

Prince of Persia was praised by critics for its distinctive graphics and dialog system, which lets gamers control when characters talk and for how long, but chastised for a lack of difficulty, as the open-world platformer does not allow players to die.

The title also removed the ability to rewind time--a staple of the three previous PoP games--and streamlined the series' traditional control scheme to be more simple.

"Whether this means we didn't totally succeed in our risk taking or whether our industry in fact has a stronger appetite for the familiar then it wants to admit remains to be seen," Mattes continued.

He also criticized the belief that immortality within the game prevents it from being enjoyable, and offered details on the forthcoming downloadable content.

Mattes acknowledged that the team worked "very hard to remove frustration from this game" to make it more accessible and admitted that the game "could have done a better job" in providing a challenge, but asked hardcore players to "please consider the pleasure you'll get from an engaging experience that can actually be finished."

As for the fabled downloadable content "of significant value", the upcoming release will offer up a new area, new enemies, a new power, and new fight moves.

"This is not at all a chunk of the game that was supposed to ship but that we didn't finish in time--this is a significant DLC team that has taken all of the lessons they learned during the development of PoP and all of the feedback we've read on boards and in reviews and are creating something really special," said Mattes.