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Author, screenwriter and video game designer Jordan Mechner is best known as the creator of Prince of Persia, one of the most successful and enduring video game franchises of all time, with over 17 million games sold to date. In May 2010 Mechner became the first game creator-turned-screenwriter to successfully adapt his own work as a feature film, with Disney’s “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It is the world’s highest-grossing video game adaptation ever, at $335 million worldwide.
Mechner began his career as a video game creator in the 1980s with Karateka and followed soon after with Prince of Persia, two of the first games to combine arcade action with realistic animation and cinematic storytelling. Both titles became #1 bestsellers and are now considered all-time classics. Created and programmed by Mechner on an Apple II and published by Brøderbund Software, Prince of Persia was adapted for nearly every computer and console platform and was a major influence in the development of the action-adventure video game genre.
After designing and directing a Prince of Persia sequel, The Shadow and the Flame, Mechner founded independent developer Smoking Car Productions, where he directed and co-wrote the critically acclaimed 1997 CD-ROM adventure game The Last Express, still considered one of the most ambitious and artistically successful interactive narratives ever attempted. The Last Express was re-released in 2012 as a mobile app by French publisher DotEmu.
In 2001, Mechner joined forces with Ubisoft Entertainment to reinvent his decade-old Prince of Persia for a new generation of gamers. Developed at Ubisoft Montreal with Mechner as game designer, writer and creative consultant, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was one of the biggest hits of 2003, sweeping the Interactive Achievement Awards (DICE) with 12 nominations and 8 awards. Ubisoft has since published four more Prince of Persia sequels. In 2012, Mechner released a modern remake of his other classic 1980s game, Karateka.
“Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story,” a documentary film written and directed by Mechner, won the 2003 IDA award for Best Short Documentary, was short-listed for an Academy Award nomination, and received its broadcast premiere on PBS Independent Lens in 2005.
Mechner’s original graphic novel Templar, illustrated by LeUyen Pham & Alex Puvilland, will be published by First Second in July 2013. Mechner previously collaborated with First Second, Pham & Puvilland on a Prince of Persia graphic novel written by A.B. Sina. Mechner’s other books include a Disney graphic-novel movie prequel, Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm, and two volumes of his 1980s game development journals: The Making of Karateka and The Making of Prince of Persia.
Mechner received his B.A. from Yale University. He posts sketches, old journals, and updates about his various projects on his blog at jordanmechner.com.