We know that there's a new Splinter Cell in the works for Xbox One, but quite what it'll amount to is anybody's guess. Last year's Blacklist was well-received, but has fallen short of Ubisoft's targets, so another franchise refresh could be in order.
Speaking to OXM in our new issue, out on Friday 17th January, animation director Kristjan Zadziuk discussed the IP's future, conceding that Ubisoft Toronto has yet to perfect the Splinter Cell formula. "We haven't got the luxury of Assassin's Creed where we know our formula; we're still evolving," he began.
"If you look at them, there's no two Splinter Cells that are the same. They've all evolved and adapted. That, to me, is what makes it really exciting. We're getting closer to what that game is, and maybe it isn't necessarily about Splinter Cell being a 15-16 million Call of Duty-type best-seller. Maybe it's just about it being the best Splinter Cell that it can be."
As with Ubisoft sequels in general, the next game might take inspiration from one of Splinter Cell's stablemates, but Zadziuk's team will never port over ideas for the sake of it. "It's not like we sit around and go 'I'm having that'; it's what works for each game.
"Far Cry 3 is such an expansive game, so they're trying to find you an organic way of giving you a map. That wouldn't work for Splinter Cell - there'd be no point in Sam climbing to the top of a tower and pressing a button. But then again, we have our version of active sprint. It's not a way of copying Assassin's Creed, it's our way of making Sam more fluid."
Zadiuk's comments form part of a massive feature on Ubisoft's creative agenda at large - if you're at all interested in what's next for Assassin's Creed, Far Cry and co, you shouldn't miss it. In other news, Jonty's chat with Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond remains a fascinating body of insights - among other things, she discussed the possibility of a game about partial paralysis.