Earlier this year, Ubisoft revealed they had hit the “pause” button on the Prince of Persia franchise — taking a step back in order to evaluate how best to approach the “brand” moving forward. Since the Sands of Time trilogy, the franchise has tapered off quite a bit, with the cell-shaded Prince of Persia title failing to hit the same high marks as its predecessors.

Moreover, Disney’s Prince of Persia feature film adaptation once again proved that video game movies are easier said than done. And they need to be placed in the most capable of hands.

That being said, a new rumor has begun circulating that suggests another Prince of Persia game is in development — it just might not be at Ubisoft proper.

Climax Studios — the developer responsible for some of the latter Silent Hill games and Smart As — has some concept art for a forthcoming “character action platformer” that look like they might be for a new Prince of Persia. Even the setting evokes the same time period as Ubisoft’s original reboot.

With only two images to analyze, it’s hard to definitively say this is a Prince of Persia spin-off/sequel, but the evidence points overwhelmingly in that direction. Even the design of the character — red scarf, armbands, white vest, and windswept air — looks almost exactly like the Prince.

The 2D design of the second image suggests Climax could be working on a title that harkens back to the original 2D Prince of Persia titles. Perhaps this game could be a standalone downloadable title — one that won’t interfere with Ubisoft’s plans for the Prince of Persia franchise.

For now, the images are still up on Climax’s official site, but if they ever get taken down we’ll have a better idea as to what the Internet sleuths might have stumbled upon. Nothing says a game’s true purpose has been found out like removing images.

[Update 1]

New images have been added to Climax’s site with the added qualifier of “tech demo.” That leads us to believe this was a proof of concept for a Prince of Persia game that Climax was hoping to get made. And now that more images have been added, maybe Climax is trying to help get their project noticed.

[Update 2: Ubisoft’s official statement]

The screenshots in question are from a prototype created by one of our partners, not a game currently in development. Prince of Persia remains an important element in Ubisoft’s portfolio, but we’re currently focusing on other brands and have nothing new to share at this time.

Do you think Climax Studios’ in-development project is a new Prince of Persia game? Would you like to see a downloadable side scroller set in that universe?

Source: Climax Studios (via IGN)