After years of rumors and disappointments, it came as great news for long-suffering fans when Ubisoft announced in December 2021 that the stealth-action classic Splinter Cell is getting a full remake. But some of those fans are feeling a little bit nervous following the news that David Grivel, the director on the project, has left Ubisoft.
"11 years is a long time and summing it up in one post is quasi-impossible but I must say, I’ve been lucky," Grivel wrote. "Lucky to work with so many great people over the years. Made so many friends.
"From Ubisoft Paris (Ghost Recon Future Soldier), to Ubisoft Toronto (Splinter Cell Blacklist, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Far Cry Primal, 5, 6 and Splinter Cell Remake), I’ve had the opportunity to work on many franchises that I love as a gamer."
Grivel is only one man, and studio employees—even those in leadership positions—move around with some regularity. Even so, the reaction to the news was not overly positive.
"Well, that doesn’t bode well," redditor AceRojo wrote. "A lot of the problems with Conviction was the troubled development. Here’s hoping they beat the odds."
"First there's some serious issues with Prince of Persia Remake and now this project starts having problems as well.," budyll66 added. "Oh, well... aha, it's Ubisoft!"
"I always try to be cautiously optimistic, and in the case of this remake that’s been the approach I’ve taken so far," Revenant_XV wrote. "But I’ve still had very little faith in the first place after being burned way too many times by Ubisoft and now, what little faith I have left is getting shaky lol. Still gonna try and be open-minded but it gets harder to do when you’ve seen warning signs like this a lot in the past."
The Splinter Cell remake is presumably still a long way off, and a recent job listing made clear that the remake is not going to be a note-for-note do-over, but rather a ground-up rebuild that maintains "the spirit and themes of the original game while exploring our characters and the world to make them more authentic and believable." That sounds like a properly substantial challenge for a game director, but Ubisoft said that Grivel's departure won't slow things down.
"We can confirm that David Grivel has left Ubisoft and wish to thank him for his contributions," a Ubisoft spokesperson said in a statement sent to PC Gamer. "His departure will not impact the game's development."