Every now and then, Ubisoft likes to make a little noise about Splinter Cell (opens in new tab). It's a bit like Sam Fisher stubbing his toe as he sneaks through the shadows behind a large bank of 60s-era supercomputers: You definitely heard something, but when you go to check, there's nothing there.
Today's muffled thump comes courtesy of the Ubisoft Spain Twitter feed, which put this up earlier today:
Hace falta entender la oscuridad para poder hacerle frente... #SamFisher pic.twitter.com/fTsRnCQa7dNovember 8, 2019
That, according to Google, translates to, "You need to understand the darkness in order to face it," which is a pretty Splinter Cell thing to say: It's like, the shadows are your ally, but the darkness that lies within is your true enemy. Levels, man. It's heavy stuff.
The tweet hasn't appeared on other Ubisoft channels I've checked—North America, Russia, Italy, Germany, and France—and there doesn't appear to be any Splinter Cell activity elsewhere, such as the Ubisoft Spain YouTube channel. And yes, I know, there have been a few false starts previously, most recently this summer when Ubisoft creative director Julian Gerighty said straight-up that he was working on a new Splinter Cell, only to have Ubisoft leap in with a very strained-sounded insistence that it was all just a joke (opens in new tab).
But Splinter Cell remains one of Ubisoft's big names, near and dear to the hearts of stealth-action fans, and it's inevitable that a new one is going to come along sooner or later. It's also fair to say that Ubisoft could use a spot of good news right now: Ghost Recon Breakpoint bombed (opens in new tab) and The Division 2 fell short of expectations, which forced it to delay (opens in new tab) Watch Dogs Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Gods and Monsters. That's not a hole that Sam Fisher can fill by himself, but it'd be a start.
Gamestop also gave the rumor mill a good crank when it said in September that a new Splinter Cell game is "on the horizon (opens in new tab)," although that reference has since been deleted from the glowy-goggles product listing.
Of course, all of this could also be nothing more than a little bit of a hype-nudge to remind everyone that Ubisoft still holds the rights to the franchise and might do something with it someday. For one thing, the image in the tweet is not new, but comes from the Ghost Recon Wildlands - Splinter Cell crossover (opens in new tab). Hope dies hard, though, and I'd very much like to be playing a new, Michael Ironside-starring Splinter Cell sooner rather than later.