Ubisoft likes to make a big splash at E3. They have fun dance numbers promoting Just Dance with characters in giant bear costumes, they bring Shigeru Miyamoto on stage to promote their latest collaboration with Nintendo, and they always bring up CEO Yves Guillemot to talk about the passion behind their games.
Another trope of Ubisoft’s press conferences is the giant finale that ends their show. It is usually a game that no one has heard of, sometimes a title that has somehow managed to escape the leaks and the rumours, and sometimes, thankfully not very often, it’s Steep. But let’s not talk about that last one.
Speaking of titles that haven’t been able to escape the rumour mill ahead of an official announcement, Ubisoft officially took the wraps off of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint just days ago, prime for release this October. This fills the slot for a high-intensity, tactical action game set in the Tom Clancy universe for the year, which begs the question: does Ubisoft show off Splinter Cell at E3 2019 to make its return in 2020?
By 2020, it will have been seven years since Splinter Cell: Blacklist was released to the world, and in that time, there’s been nary a peep from the world about franchise. The only exception to this is when Sam Fisher was made a non-player character in a short subset of Ghost Recon: Wildlands last year. This seven year time period is long even by Splinter Cell standards. After the first few games came out in rapid succession (on a yearly basis), the longest gap between games we’d seen was three years.
With Ghost Recon being the aforementioned high-intensity, tactical action game that it is, there could be a case for Splinter Cell to return this year, or be introduced for a 2020 release, likely alongside brand new consoles from Sony and Microsoft.
However, Ubisoft has never released two Tom Clancy games within close proximity of each other. In fact, this year is the first year they’ve ever released two Tom Clancy games together, and their release dats are almost as far apart as can be; The Division 2 released in March, while Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is due out in October.
What makes much more sense is for Ubisoft to show off the game this year at E3, have their big reveal, and mark down Splinter Cell as a next-generation title for what is likely to be a hardware-heavy 2020. Of course, they will end up developing versions for current-generation consoles as well, but pushing Splinter Cell to new consoles is much more likely.
When do you expect the next Splinter Cell title to finally rear its head? Can we expect Sam Fisher (and hopefully Michael Ironside reprising his role as the stealth badass main character) to appear at E3 this year? Or is this all a pipe dream and will Splinter Cell be lurking in the shadows for a little while longer?