Recent rumors have been hinting at a revival of the fan-favorite Splinter Cell series, and a recent announcement from Ubisoft means a possible stealth reboot might be coming sooner than fans might think. The French publisher stated that "an unannounced franchise title" is set to release before the end of the 2018 fiscal year (which means before April 2019). They categorized it as one of their three major releases during this period alongside two upcoming sequels: The Division 2 and The Crew 2.
The third-person stealth series has been a signature of Ubisoft's line-up ever since Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell debuted in 2002. Released to critical acclaim, the original wound up selling over three million copies. And so, the studio started releasing new installments every couple of years, but the series has been on hiatus ever since 2013's Splinter Cell: Blacklist. While none of the main installments ever received a bad reception, the franchise was generally considered to have suffered from diminishing returns.
It's been over four years since the last Splinter Cell title, and that time away has had fans asking for a new entry. Luckily for them, a recent Wal-Mart leak that confirmed the existence of RAGE 2 also listed a new Splinter Cell. When paired with Ubisoft's recent comments about an unannounced franchise title, a new Splinter Cell would certainly fit that bill. Regardless of what the franchise title is, it's highly likely that an announcement would be at Ubisoft's E3 2018 press conference (which is set to take place on Monday, June 11).
Another interesting tidbit to come out of Ubisoft's financial release is that they expect digital revenue to represent "around 65% of net bookings." That's an increase from 60%, and it shows that digital sales are continuing to rise. While physical media will likely always have a place for collectors, the industry is pretty clearly heading in the direction of digital sales.
A new Splinter Cell title would make all of the sense in the world, especially since legendary actor Michael Ironside returned to voice Sam Fisher in the recent Ghost Recon: Wildlands crossover mission. It's known that Assassin's Creed is taking another year off after the release of Assassin's Creed: Origins in 2017, so it would be a logical time for Ubisoft's other beloved stealth game to reemerge. If the two series could start releasing on a biyearly schedule, it'd certainly alleviate a lot of the burnout concerns that fans have complained about from annual installments.