Splinter Cell has kind of been left on the shelf for the past few years, much to the disappointment of fans of the Ubisoft-developed stealth series. We got a brief cameo in Ghost Recon: Wildlands, but the last time Sam Fisher starred in his own game was 2013’s Blacklist.
I think most of us would agree then, that it’s high-time for Fisher to sling back on his night vision goggles and sneak into a game of his own once more. Unfortunately, Ubisoft has been fairly up front in recent years as to why we haven’t seen a new Splinter Cell: the publisher would rather focus on franchises it knows is going to make big money, like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.
But while it would appear that Sam Fisher might have been retired for good, recent comments from Ubisoft have suggested that Splinter Cell will be making a return in some form – just not in the way any of us might have expected (or indeed wanted).
In a new interview with Gamersky, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot was asked about the future of Sam Fisher and Splinter Cell. He teased that a new entry is very much on the cards, but instead of a traditional AAA release, it could be “some new type of experiences, but more on different devices.”
We are working a little bit on the brand today to come back at one point. We can’t say when, because, as you know, it takes time. But each time we have to find the right experience to come back big.
The CEO’s comments about “different devices” could be taken in one of two ways. The first is that Splinter Cell could make its big return on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett when the next-generation hardware arrives late next year. The second is that a new Splinter Cell spinoff of some sort could be released for VR or mobile devices, which I imagine is the more likely scenario.
Back in July, reports surfaced that Ubisoft had signed a deal with Facebook to create virtual reality titles based on Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell as part of a wider plan to boost sales of the company’s Oculus Rift headsets.
While this partnership has yet to be officially confirmed, Guillemot’s recent comments about Splinter Cell returning on “different devices” certainly lend weight to the reports.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.