PoP released for IMAX and iPhone

I woke up this morning thinking “Today’s the day!” One that’s been emblazoned in my mind for weeks now, thanks to subtle reminders like this one:

But it wasn’t until I picked up my iPhone and blearily checked email and Twitter while making breakfast (compulsive habit, I know; I’m trying to break it) that I received the surprising news that today is ALSO the release date of the original Prince of Persia for iPhone/iPad.

You’d think such perfect timing would have to have been coordinated months in advance, but it wasn’t. If there was a mastermind, it could only have been some unsung Apple employee with a sense of irony.

This weekend might be just the occasion for me to try playing through the game for the first time in 20 years. I already have my fallback strategy: If I can’t get past level three, I’ll blame the touchscreen controls. It couldn’t be aging reflexes. No way.

And I promise not to play my iPhone during the movie after the lights have gone down.

Posted on May 28, 2010 in Blog, Film, Games, Prince of Persia | 28 comments


  1. 5-28-2010

    Contests on the double release.

    Any chance that Karateka will get ported to the iPhone/ipad?

    When I was in second grade, my sister and I both game down with chicken pox. I basically had to spend a week at home with nothing to do. My dad brought me home a copy of Karateka for my 8088. I played the heck out of that game.

    I was so shocked when I met the princess in a fighting stance, lol.

    I think that was 21 or so years ago, and I’d love to play it again, and have it in my pocket!

    • 8-20-2011

      Hi a novice to jordanmechner.com and loving it so far! I’m a CMO(Chief Advertising and marketing Officer) . No Sure of posting in this but I’m seeking business that may
      grow our sales on the web like how forums get traffic in huge nubmers. I feel its wonderful on how several members and visitors
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  2. 5-28-2010

    Ugh, iPhone contests=congrats

  3. 5-28-2010

    Hi, I stumbled upon your site almost completely by accident. Even so, and as funny as it is, I practically spent the last 3 hours reading up on your account of the history of PoP.

    I just want to say, even though you were down in the pits after release of the original PoP, there was one kid that was just dying to get a few extra hours in of game time. Also love the personality you provided in your journal entries.

    How did your screenwriting career pan out in the end? I would like to assume you’re doing well for yourself now :)

    • 5-28-2010

      No complaints… got my first movie opening this weekend, hoping it’s not the end but the beginning!

      • 5-29-2010

        Like Jeff says – I was in the same boat as a kid, in the computer store in my local town mesmerised by PoP running about on a demo screen. Couldn’t wait to get the game, and it was probably the first game I was engaged enough to actually finish!

        Good job on the movie too! – Saw PoP movie in Ireland last weekend. Asked to comment on it by others I said “Unlike other game to movie conversions this one is actually good. It has a plot, and a story!” [and not just Angelina Jolie in a tight top... not that Angelina in a tight top it bad thing].

        Afterwards I did think it was really ironic, that Jordan started PoP using the roto-scoping methods used by Disney to make a computer game, and now is working with Disney to turn the same computer game into a movie!

  4. 5-28-2010

    Hello. I am a fan from the Philippines, and has played the first PoP back in 1989 when I was still in premed. It’s still the best video game for me and was way ahead of its time.

    Congratulations on the film, which did not disappoint like other video games played onscreen. It was fast-paced and lively. The story and historical facts provided were also a perk.

    Thank you, Jordan. ‘Hoping to see a sequel in the future. :-)

  5. 5-29-2010

    Hey, Jordan,
    do you still reconsider making a deal with Good old Games (GoG.com) letting them port your old games on newer game systems?

  6. 5-29-2010

    Hey Jordan,

    I just have to say: the movie is brilliant. I loved every second of it. You and the crew and cast did an excellent job.

    And I could never pass level 3 in the original game. I think I did it a few times when I was 10 years old – I even managed to get to level 5. But that was it. I eventually finished the game by cheating (terrible, I know, but it’s a hard game).

  7. 5-29-2010

    Saw POP at the cinema tonight, had a blast. I was very concerned when I heard there was to be a film conversion of one of my favourite games, as most ‘movie games’ tend to… well suck. I was delighted to hear that you were working closely on the project though, and it shows. Can we expect to see a Warrior Within or Two Thrones ? :)

    Will be buying to iphone game tonight. Could never finish the original as a kid, maybe Ill have better luck now.

  8. 5-29-2010

    Mr Mechner you can refer to my guide if you’re stuck ;)

    Just kidding… By the way that was a great movie. Turned out just as expected, caught it on the release day! I think it’s epic…!

  9. 5-30-2010

    Hi Jordan,

    I stayed up late one night last week, procrastinating instead of writing a game design / pitch document, reading your POP journal. It was the best procrastinating I could have done, as I woke up the next morning raring to go, realising that even yourself who created two of my favorite games (POP and Sands Of Time) goes through all the self-doubt, trial and error etc that we all do! Thanks for being so brave and sharing your old diaries ‘warts and all’ for all us aspiring games designers to feel better about ourselves with :D

    Also loved that you were honest about the fact that the origin of some of the elements of Prince Of Persia came from friends and family (e.g. the mouse!) – that was another reassurance for me when I was writing that doc. I think sometimes designers, as movie directors, really are at their best when they are acting as a ‘filter’ for all the creative people around them, so it’s almost like the game/movie is making itself. But the designer/director is letting the stuff through that supports his/her vision. I have to remind myself that I’m still ‘doing something’ in these moments, and not get hung up on the ‘but I didn’t think of it’ bit of jealousy that is usually the first reaction ;)

    Anyway enough rambling. I saw the movie last night with my 71 year old Dad. He’s played and finished Sands Of Time a few years ago, and loved it as well. We both loved the film. It was especially emotional for me after reading your diaries and knowing what you went through back then, how you wanted to be a screenwriter but kept being dragged back into finishing POP, and now after all these years it’s paid off! :-) Also as I’ve just started on this games designer path, it was emotional to see your dreams up there on the big screen, now for a much bigger audience.

    Loved the many visual and plot references to the many POP incarnations, just overall really has proved that the reason video games movies’ stories have sucked until now is because they weren’t based on video games with fantastic stories! :)

    I’m sure it’s just the tip of the iceberg for you. Congratulations!!

    Heath from Melbourne, Australia

  10. 5-30-2010

    Hi Jordan,

    Watched the PoP movie yesterday in Toronto – CONGRATULATIONS! Was a lot of fun. Ostrich racing is hilarious! And the racing track manager – we all recognized John Rhys-Davis character from Indiana Jones series, this time to be played by Alfred Molina, great (I loved the line about ‘only one ostrich!’). And talk between Prince and Tamina brings up a lot of memories of Leia and Han – and it’s great again. Just the right amount of pathos and kissing (Peter Jackson really should take lessons), just the right amount of time-turning. The plot idea about two older bros and three younger is good, watcher is kept guessing. The moment and the idea I especially enjoyed is when Dastan shows his brother how the dagger works :-) That’s ingenious. And casting is good (did I mention I loved Alfred Molina? :-)). So – the movie just so cool and is as much fun as the games are. Congratulations! (and we all hope, if the rumors about filming of ‘Last Express’ turn out to be true, that that one will be great too, although it would be, of course, a very different task to this one). Thanks for giving all this to us!

    Hope you enjoyed my erstwhile hometown of Moscow – there are a lot of PoP fans there!

  11. 5-30-2010

    Went to see PoP on Friday night and it’s excellent. Perfect action movie, entertaining, funny and spectacular, pretty much in the spirit of the games!
    And it’s cool to see your name for the screenplay after reading your PoP game days journal :o) There you go héhé!

  12. 5-30-2010


    Firstime I played PoP was on GameBoy ! ( 1991-1992 ).
    “Game by Jordan Mechner” ( at this time you were like the creator of Tetris for me, like a myth !! ;)
    With internet now, we can see your picture, finally you are an human ?!

    Congratultions for this game, it’s one of the best game ever. One question if I may ? How long took you from brainstorming, first ideas and the developpement of this game ? And How long was the developpement ?

    Thanks a lot for the good time, i’m going to play with my ipod touch and like you I’ll blame the touchscreen controls if I die too soon ;o

    ( Paris – France )

  13. 5-30-2010

    Just saw prince of persia. It has my vote for the worst movie of the year thus far.
    Stick to video games mr. Mechner.

    • 6-1-2010

      Just read Kevin’s comment. It has my vote for the worst comment of the blog thus far.
      Stick to lurking mr. Kevin.


      • 6-2-2010

        I second that nomination

      • 6-6-2010

        Glad to see the film bombing at the box office, just a shame that it will end up surpassing the budget through international ticket sales. Films like this are bad for the industry the worse it does the better.

    • 8-20-2010

      Sure, if your favorite movie is Teltubbies.

  14. 6-1-2010

    Dear Mr Merchner
    Thaank you for releasing PoP Retrò for iPad, which I bought, but it works with one only landscape position, the wrong one if you use the Apple-case for iPad.

    Please, do an upgrade to allow rotation.

  15. 6-3-2010

    I noticed that there was a dedication to Tomi Pierce in the end credits. That made me smile. Was that your idea or Mike Newell’s?

  16. 6-6-2010

    Hey Jordan

    Just saw the movie last night here in Melbourne, Australia. Thought it was great, I grew up playing PoP and have always loved it. The film does well to capture all the moves in the game and the Persian style. Really well done mate.



  17. 6-8-2010

    This movie rocked.

    keeping it short and sweet. B)

  18. 6-28-2010


    Now that the original Prince of Persia has been released for the iPhone, is there any chance we’ll see Prince of Persia 2: Shadow and the Flame released in a similar way? While PoP1 sits atop my list of best games of all time (tied with ‘Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis’ and followed by ‘Riven’), I thoroughly enjoyed the side-scrolling sequel and would love to see it on the iPhone/iPad or other platforms (i.e. Steam, Mac OS X, Windows). Any chances of this? I’ve always preferred the Mac versions (versus DOS) of the first two PoP games, as they were less blocky and in what seems to me to be a higher resolution (especially true for PoP1, but also true for PoP2). It would be great if these Mac versions could be re-released for Mac OS X or Windows. I use DOSBox, but miss playing the games the way they appeared on my Mac LC. I’m extremely pleased to see that the iPhone version of the game is the 1992 edition of PoP1.

    Thanks for everything, Jordan. I consider Prince of Persia to be a bit of a personal obsession. It’s probably not healthy, but I simply can’t get enough. I don’t consider PoP 3D to be the bastard child as others do and was really impressed by its over all atmosphere and feel. My family always owned Macs and it took me five years before I was able to finally play it. Until then, I had to simply re-watch the making-of video that was bundled with the 1999 Prince of Persia Collection. Exciting times.


  19. 7-1-2010

    Hi Jordan,

    I’m not sure if this has been asked before, but is there any chance that we’ll see a sequel or perhaps a Last Express movie? I rarely play computer games but this was the first I’ve finished and loved and I want more.

    best wishes,

  20. 9-16-2010

    Hey Jordan,

    I just wanted to drop you a message (as I’ve been wanting to for 19 years now) being a huge fan of the PoP series. Congratulations on all of your achievements and the release of the PoP movie! You’re an inspiration I’ve looked to over the years, to follow my goals and pursue success.

    Hope you are well,


  21. 11-22-2010

    there any chance that we’ll see a sequel or perhaps a Last Express movie? I rarely play computer games but this was the first I’ve finished and loved and I want more.

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