After some very public rumors, Ubisoft has finally confirmed that a new Splinter Cell game is in the works at Ubisoft Toronto, which is great news for Splinter Cell fans and maybe bittersweet news for anyone hoping that Sam Fischer’s story would continue on. The new title is actually a remake of an old title, as Ubisoft has also confirmed that the next-gen (current-gen?) title will also be a remake.
“To me, a remake takes what you’d do in a remaster and goes a little bit further with it,” Producer Matt West says in a Ubisoft-written blog post. “The original Splinter Cell has a lot that was amazing and revolutionary at the time it came out, 19 years ago. The gaming public now has an even more refined palate. So, I think it kind of has to be a remake as opposed to a remaster.”
West, along with Creative Director Chris Auty and Technical Producer Peter Handrinos, go on to say that the game is still in the earliest stages of development. Basically the only detail we know about it so far is that it will be using the Snowdrop Engine, Ubisoft’s proprietary engine that is used for everything from Mario + Rabbids to the upcoming Avatar game. Unlike most other Ubisoft games, Splinter Cell will stay linear and not be transmogrified into an open world title.
The post is also accompanied with a video, which is largely just footage of the original title.
More than once in the blog post, the trio say that this remake is building a foundation for the future of Splinter Cell, which by definition means there has to be a future in the works. Whether a completely new game is going to depend on the performance of the remake isn’t said, but it’s certainly being implied very loudly.
So why the early announcement? It seems largely for recruiting reasons. So if you ever wanted to work on a Splinter Cell title, now’s your chance. Perhaps more cynically, a larger reason might be to deflect from the bad press over the company’s Ubisoft Quartz initiative, but if announcing audience-passion projects is Ubisoft’s way of distracting from bad press, then they really have to keep that schedule packed with announcements.