A product listing on GameStop's website may have just revealed the existence of an unannounced Splinter Cell game. Demand and anticipation for a new entry in the famed series have been building for years, and have only intensified lately as Ubisoft has referenced and teased the IP in different ways.
Splinter Cell holds a legacy of excellence in the stealth-action genre, and was once considered to be something of a rival to Metal Gear Solid. Sadly, there hasn't been a new title in the venerated series since Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which was seven years ago now. In more recent times, Ubisoft has been name-dropping the IP on a fairly frequent basis as well as referencing it in their other games. Apparently, a new Splinter Cell game was being conceived for a while, and Sam Fisher has made appearances in Ghost Recon Wildlands and in the upcoming mobile game Tom Clancy's Elite Squad. All of this has only fueled rumors and hype for a new mainline Splinter Cell title, and now we may have the most substantial piece of evidence yet.
According to one attentive user on Reddit, GameStop may have just leaked a new Splinter Cell game ahead of its possible announcement. A new listing has appeared for a pair of Sam Fisher replica goggles, scheduled to release in November. But what's intriguing is the product description for the goggles, which implies that a new core entry in the series is "on the horizon." Here's the excerpt from the description: "For the first time since the introduction of Splinter Cell in 2002, after nine top selling AAA+ titles, and with the 10th release on the horizon, this is your first chance to own Sam Fisher's signature Ultra High-Frequency Sonar Goggles."
The rest of the listing is just information on the goggles themselves, but the street date for the goggles is perhaps the most significant part. They are expected to ship on November 1, which could mean that if there really is a new Splinter Cell in the works, then it may be officially announced at some point before then. On the other hand, the description could simply be an error in judgment on GameStop's part - but it would still be odd for the company to be marketing a pair of Sam Fisher's goggles if there wasn't a big reason to do so after seven years.
Frankly, Splinter Cell is long overdue for a substantial new mainline game. It's almost baffling that Ubisoft hasn't made the IP a priority, what with the apparent death of the Metal Gear series and a market that is hungrier than ever for high-quality tactical espionage action. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has said that a new Splinter Cell would be under a lot of pressure from fans, but that's precisely why the company should be putting its weight behind it. Ubisoft has a lot of experience developing open world games, and a more open Splinter Cell in the vein of Metal Gear Solid 5 would be very welcome. The brilliant Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer mode deserves another day in the limelight, too.