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Designers Must Walk A Fine Line When Reinventing The IP

Remakes have become awfully popular over the past few years, but in many ways, they can be risky. Just ask Jordan Mechner, developer of the original Prince of Persia who also presided over the 2003 remake.

Now, that remake worked out well; The Sands of Time was one of the year's best and rejuvenated the archaic franchise. We've seen multiple installments since then and the latest was a definite gem. But in a recent Develop interview with Mechner, he says that "reinventing an IP is a bit like steering between Scylla and Charybdis." Basically, he's talking about walking the fine line between not enough change and too much change:

"If you stick too closely to what's worked before, it gets stale; if you deviate from it too much, you might confuse and possibly split your fan base. Between those two risks, I'm personally inclined to lean toward the second, because it's more interesting."

As far as PoP goes, Mechner seems proud of the franchise's ability to continually reinvent itself, and this includes the upcoming action movie. Mechner says he's "amazed at the range of difference over the years" while at the same time, he adds that it's clear anybody can recognize all iterations as PoP. He believes it may have something to do with the fact that the storyline is cemented in the Arabian Nights tales, but that's only part of it. The bottom line is that a remake and/or rejuvenation of an old IP is risky, simply because it can't possibly survive on nostalgia alone.

Some say it's automatic money in the bank, but there's always more involved.

10/12/2009 9:40:33 PM John Shepard

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