At a time when it feels like every game is a candidate for a remake, revival, or reboot, the continued absence of the Splinter Cell series remains genuinely surprising. It’s been four years since Splinter Cell: Blacklist successfully took the franchise back to its stealth roots and received almost universal critical acclaim. Despite those achievements, the game failed to meet sales expectations which has left some to believe that Ubisoft may have finally lost hope in one of their most beloved franchises.
According to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, that’s simply not the case.
“What we can say is we’re receiving a lot of sketches and proposals around the brand and we’re going to pick one up,” said Guillemot during one of the company’s video blogs regarding the current state of any upcoming Splinter Cell projects. “I think you will be able to see something, but you will have to wait for that.”
There are a few things to take away from this statement. First off, “we’re receiving a lot of sketches and proposals around the brand” means you shouldn’t expect to actually play a new Splinter Cell anytime soon. We’d be shocked if we even see a teaser trailer for the game by the end of next year.
The other, slightly more concerning, message one could derive from that statement is that Ubisoft perhaps feels that Blacklist‘s classic Splinter Cell style isn’t necessarily the design direction that future Splinter Cell games will follow. If it were a simple matter of continuing that style, then Ubisoft probably wouldn’t be taking so long to consider proposals regarding the future of the Splinter Cell “brand.”
It’s possible that Ubisoft feels that the Assassin’s Creed franchise is their premiere stealth franchise – even though the series has been trending away from stealth over the last few installments – and want to find a way for Splinter Cell to separate itself from the pack in the minds of some consumers. That could mean that the series might dip back into the Taken-esque stealth/action combo featured in Splinter Cell: Conviction.
Given the exceptional quality of the franchise thus far, we’ll take what Splinter Cell we can get when we can get it.