New Splinter Cell rumors promise improbably good Game Awards reveal

As is quickly becoming tradition, an upcoming big event full of mystery reveals has stoked the fires of the Splinter Cell rumor machine. The purported leak claims that we’ll see Splinter Cell: Fifth Freedom debut during The Game Awards this Thursday. Among the listed features include 21 linear story missions and 16 side missions with support for multiplayer and splitscreen co-op. The game will also supposedly contain a return to the beloved Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer mode, complete with special maps that have “deployable light sources and fortifications.” On top of everything, Michael Ironside returns as the voice actor for series star Sam Fisher.

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This rumor originating on 4chan that has since spread to several other sites seems to fall in line other Splinter Cell rumors in the sense that they pop up every few months. It seems as though we are “supposed” to get reveals at the past few E3s and every other major gaming event. The only official moves (aside from this vague tweet) that would point towards such a game are Michael Ironside returning for a Splinter Cell-centric mission in Ghost Recon Wildlands and Sam Fisher’s inclusion in mobile tactics game Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad. Otherwise, Ubisoft has been content to expand other avenues of its Tom Clancy empire, including this year’s Breakpoint and The Division 2.

Splinter Cell Blacklist Promo Art

So, can these rumors be trusted? It is hard to say but the supposed leaker claims to be from Ubisoft Blue Byte, which would be a support studio for any project of this nature. The lack of story details in the leak also corroborates this fact, as only those from reported main developer Ubisoft Barcelona would know that information at this time. However, Barcelona has mainly been a mobile developer since 2016, and it has never been put on a project this big before as the lead team. Its last game shipped in 2018, so that’s possibly enough time to spin up production. However, the fan-pleasing details in the leak have led many to question its legitimacy. It’s possible that Ubisoft would release a huge story game with split-screen co-op in 2020, but it’s not likely.