Ubisoft’s Unusual Approach Post-Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Speedrun Event

In an unexpected twist emanating from the gaming industry, Ubisoft’s recent handling of “Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown” has sparked discussions across the gaming community. The company orchestrated a speedrunning contest for the game, only to later patch the very exploits that runners utilized, leaving the speedrunning community in a limbo.

The event, which sought to crown the fastest player of this latest Prince of Persia installment, concluded with much fanfare. Official channels celebrated the winners and showcased the impressive feats achieved by participants, demonstrating both skill and ingenuity. However, the aftermath has been anything but celebratory for those devoted to the art of speedrunning.

An Unexpected Update

Ubisoft rolled out update 1.0.4 shortly after the competition, incorporating changes that directly affected strategies essential to speedrunning. While the patch notes remained mum on these specifics, the community was quick to analyze and reveal the implications. Techniques and glitches that were not only popular but foundational to speedrunning categories were rendered obsolete.

For example, a previously beneficial glitch involving a boss zombie was removed. Additionally, a traversal method involving an invisible wall, which allowed players to bypass a significant section of the game, was also addressed. This invisible boundary near the game’s Pit of Eternal Sands saw an extension, thwarting attempts to cross it using prior methods.

The speedrunning forum Speedrunner.com highlighted the significant impact of these changes. Categories of speedruns that depended on the now-patched techniques had their records archived. The forum detailed further complications in categorizing runs post-patch, explaining the challenges in maintaining competitive fairness due to the increased difficulty of certain tricks.

A Controversial Decision

This move by Ubisoft has ignited a debate on the nature of speedrunning and developers’ roles in either supporting or inhibiting this community-driven competitive scene. Critics argue that exploiting a game’s mechanics for speedrunning does not detract from the average player’s experience and, in many cases, adds an extra layer of depth and replayability to the title. Speedrunning is seen by its proponents as a legitimate way to enjoy and challenge games beyond their intended narrative or gameplay constraints.

Regardless of where one stands on Ubisoft’s actions, it’s clear “Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown” struck a chord with gamers around the world. Mixing classic Prince of Persia gameplay with Metroidvania elements has been praised as a stroke of genius, providing a refreshing experience that respects the series’ roots while introducing innovative mechanics.

In conclusion, while the game itself has been well-received, the recent patch has highlighted an ongoing conversation about how games are played, explored, and ultimately mastered by their communities. As the landscape of gaming continues to evolve, so too will the relationship between developers and their audience, possibly redefining what it means to play a game “the right way.”

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