Splinter Cell Netflix Series Confuses Fans Who Just Want a New Game

Netflix's Splinter Cell series looks promising, but fans can't help but wonder why it isn't just a new game.

Splinter Cell
Photo: Ubisoft

Netflix and Ubisoft have revealed that they are working on a Splinter Cell animated series as part of a collaboration that also includes an animated series based on Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

The Splinter Cell Netflix series, which is being helmed by John Wick‘s Derek Kolstad, will follow an older version of Sam Fisher than we’ve seen in many of the Splinter Cell games. While it sounds like the show could be a couple of years away from actually being released, Kolstad seems to already know what direction he wants to take it in.

“Every season is going to be self-contained, outside of the evolution of the main character,” Kolstad said in an interview with Collider. “I like having one big, bad, one overarching story and one background story, with the A/B of it all, and yet, I look at everything I do — well, almost everything — especially in film and TV, as the best Westerns. He rides off into the sunset because he’s going to do the same fucking thing the next town over until he dies doing it. And with these characters that we get to have fun with, you want to see what their next step is.”

It’s also very much worth noting that Kolstad noted that “animation is fucking cool, dude” as part of an interview that could certainly be described as enthusiastic, if sometimes frighteningly so.

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While it’s clear that there’s still a lot of work to do before the Splinter Cell series is even close to finished, there are many who looking forward to this series as not just the latest addition to Netflix’s growing lineup of animated video game adaptations but as a chance to dive back into a franchise that we haven’t gotten to be a part of in quite a long time.

Mostly, though, it seems like fans are wondering why this series couldn’t have just been a new Splinter Cell game.

Yes, it’s been eight years since the release of the last major Splinter Cell game (Blacklist), and you can mark those years with the cries of franchise fans who have been begging and pleading for Ubisoft to just release a proper new Splinter Cell title.

While Ubisoft has danced around this issue for quite some time, the fact of the matter is that many people suspect the real reason that they’re hesitant to release a new Splinter Cell game is that Splinter Cell games traditionally haven’t sold all that well.

In fact, unofficial numbers suggest that the series regularly struggles to barely break the 2 million units sold mark. While some of those low figures can be attributed to the quality of certain entries into the franchise, the bigger problem seems to be that stealth games have generally struggled to reach blockbuster status in recent years.

What’s amazing, though, is that Splinter Cell‘s sales struggles haven’t stopped Ubisoft from using the franchise name in other ways. Far Cry New Dawn featured a major Splinter Cell Easter egg, Sam Fisher had a cameo in Ghost Recon, and we’re even getting a Splinter Cell VR game for Oculus Rift. Through it all, though, we seemingly haven’t gotten any closer to the traditional Splinter Cell game that fans have been asking for.

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So while you may think most Splinter Cell fans would just be happy that we’re getting a major animated adaptation of the Splinter Cell universe, more people seem to be confused by Ubisoft’s apparent insistence on doing everything with the Splinter Cell franchise besides making a new game.

While there’s always hope that a new Splinter Cell game could be revealed during E3 2021, the smart money is on this upcoming animated series being your best bet for something (anything) related to this often ignored but undoubtedly beloved franchise.