In July 2019, we reported on a rumor that VR versions of Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed were in the works. In September 2020, Ubisoft and Facebook confirmed as part of the Oculus Connect event that those rumors were correct.
Exact titles haven’t been revealed at this point, but Ubisoft said that they will be “new chapters” in each game series. Development of both games is being led by Red Storm Entertainment, with support from Ubi’s Dusseldorf, Mumbai, and Reflections studios.
“We are always exploring new ways we can leverage technology to help us create memorable gaming experiences,” Ubisoft Red Storm vice president of product development Elizabeth Loverso said. “Oculus’s state-of-the-art hardware will enable us to bring the worlds of Assassin’s Creed and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell to life for fans in a new way. These games will take full advantage of Oculus’s technology to deliver immersive, visceral experiences that players won’t be able to find anywhere else.”
The announcement continues Ubisoft’s elaborate, years-long trolling of Splinter Cell fans. Assassin’s Creed fans have been well-supplied for well over a decade, but Sam Fisher stans have been champing at the bit for a new Splinter Cell for years, only to have the proverbial football placed before us and then yoinked away, time and again: Fisher has turned up in Ghost Recon games, he’s a playable character in a mobile game, he’s joining Rainbow Six Siege, he’s getting a frikkin’ anime series on Netflix—and that’s all on top of the usual rumors and “I was only kidding” gags that bubble to the surface every now and then.
And now it’s a VR game. It may be a very good VR game—I certainly hope it is—but according to the August 2020 Steam hardware survey, 1.70 percent of Steam users own a VR headset, and that means most Splinter Cell fans aren’t going to be able to touch it no matter how excellent it is.
Both the Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed games announced today will be available exclusively on Oculus VR platforms. Speaking of which, Facebook also officially unveiled the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset today, which is available for $299 for the 64GB unit, or $399 for 256GB. Preorders are live now, and units are set to begin shipping in October.