It's been six years since the last entry in Ubisoft's acclaimed stealth franchise, Splinter Cells, and - as you might imagine - fans are starting to get impatient. We heard rumours last year of a new sequel in the works (opens in new tab), but that came and went without an announcement, while several Easter eggs in the likes of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (opens in new tab) and The Division 2 (opens in new tab) appear to be nothing more than cheeky winks to the wider Ubiverse.
Now, in an interview with IGN (opens in new tab), Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has finally offered some clarity on what's going on with the Tom Clancy IP and its lead character Sam Fischer, who was last seen bemoaning the death of the Metal Gear franchise (opens in new tab) in Ghost Recon: Wildlands (opens in new tab) in 2017.
“When you create a game, you have to make sure you will come with something that will be different enough from what you did before,” Guillemot told IGN, explaining that the "last time we did a Splinter Cell, we had lots of pressure from all the fans saying, ‘Don’t change it; don’t do this; don’t do that.’ So some of the teams were more anxious to work on the brand.”
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Guillemot is, of course, referring to 2013's Splinter Cell: Blacklist (opens in new tab), which divided fans over its action-oriented direction and cinematic style compared to the stripped back stealth focus of its predecessors. Despite expressing caution at returning to the franchise so hastily following that backlash however, Guillemot promises that Ubisoft hasn't forgotten Sam Fischer outright.
“Now there are some things and some people that are now looking at the brand; taking care of the brand." teased the CEO. "At one point you will see something but I can’t say more than that." Could a new Splinter Cell be one of the unannounced E3 2019 games (opens in new tab) about to debut this summer? It's unlikely, given that both the rumoured Watch Dogs 3 and Beyond Good & Evil 2 (opens in new tab) are both on Ubisoft's plate right now, but don't count out the return of Mr. Sam Fischer just yet...
Could Splinter Cell become one of the big new games of 2019 (opens in new tab) on the way this year? Watch the video below to discover the upcoming titles we're most excited about right now.