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POP dev expected "pats on the back"

Ubi says risks were not appreciated.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Prince of Persia producer Ben Mattes has said he was surprised how reluctant fans, developers and critics were to support new ideas trying to "shake up the industry and push things forward".

His worry, he told IGN, is that "our industry in fact has a stronger appetite for the familiar than it wants to admit".

"For years we've all been reading complaints about sequels and companies churning out carbon copies of proven formulas without focusing on innovation or taking risks. Fans, developers and critics alike seemed ravenous for new ideas - new IP, major innovations - advances in this art-tertainment form we all love," said Mattes.

"We tried to really embrace this challenge on POP. 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 videogames in general. And we weren't alone. EA took some major risks this year with new IP and innovations - Mirror's Edge and Dead Space, for example.

"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 added. "Perhaps I'm an idealist, but I think perhaps I was expecting a few more virtual pats-on-the-back for our attempts to do something new."

We gave Prince of Persia 6/10, our biggest sticking point being the absence of challenge when clambering around, which formed a repetitive and unsatisfying core for our money.

Mattes believes he accomplished what he set out to do with POP, and likes the realistic length and opportunity for people - both casual and hardcore - to finish the story. However Mattes, in hindsight, admits difficulty was something he would have done differently.

"I think we could have done a better job in giving more challenge to those gamers who play a game to accomplish and achieve, rather than experience," he said.

"We talked a lot about it during development - multiple difficulty settings, etc. - but could not come up with a way to modify all aspects of the game - combat, acrobatics, trap difficulty - in a graceful and interesting way."

The next step for Prince of Persia will be "significant DLC", which Mattes said will be new content such as unseen areas, enemies, powers and fight moves. No dates have been mentioned.

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