It's been awhile since the last installment of Splinter Cell, the beloved stealth action series from Ubisoft that starred Sam Fisher, one of the company's few 'iconic' heroes. Earlier this week, a listing for "Splinter Cell 2018" appeared on Amazon Canada and immediately got noticed by Reddit.
The listing suggests that the series might be making a return soon. Of course, we're treading the waters of rumors here, but let's not forget that Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot gets asked about Splinter Cell a lot, and his most recent comments via a Reddit AMA was that Splinter Cell "is a brand we talk about a lot," and that while there was nothing specific to say at that time, fans should "stay tuned for more."
"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," Guillemot said at last year's E3, as reported by PC Gamer. "I think you will be able to see something, but you will have to wait for that." Previously, there was a rumor going around that Michael Ironside, the gravelly voiced character actor who co-created Sam Fisher with Ubisoft, would be returning, but that might be wishful thinking.
The last installment of Splinter Cell was 2013's Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which is pretty much a lifetime ago when you consider it was never brought to current-generation consoles. Ubisoft recast a significantly younger actor, Eric Johnson, as Sam Fisher with Ironside's apparent blessing and the desire to enhance the game with motion capture performance that would have tasked the then sixty-three year old Ironside.
Blacklist reviewed decently with an weighted average critic score of 82 to 84 on Metacritic, but fans and critics were notably less than accepting of the new Sam Fisher. I was fine with it, given that handing off the character was an inevitability, but sales were tepid and the franchise quietly retreated into the shadows since.
Just like the listing, which was quietly removed from Amazon, and the offending web developer was likely stealth murdered and dragged into a poorly lit corner of the office.