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December 22, 2014
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Jordan Mechner

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 14 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. Mechner also designed and directed the first sequel, Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame.

Mechner next 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.

In 2001, Mechner joined forces with Ubisoft Entertainment to relaunch 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.

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 first graphic novel — Solomon’s Thieves, a swashbuckling action-adventure about the historical Knights Templar, illustrated by LeUyen Pham & Alex Puvilland — was published by First Second Books in May 2010. The next two volumes of the Templar trilogy are due in 2012. In 2010, Mechner also penned Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm, a Disney graphic novel movie prequel. Mechner previously collaborated with First Second, Pham & Puvilland on the 2008 Prince of Persia graphic novel written by A.B. Sina.
Mechner received his B.A. from Yale University. He posts sketches, old journals, and updates about his various projects on his blog at http://jordanmechner.com.


Features by Jordan Mechner:
The Story Behind The Making Of Prince Of Persia [11.04.11]