The developers of Splinter Cell did not like Tom Clancy's books
Former Senior Level Designer at Ubisoft Montreal, Ed Byrne, revealed that several developers of the original Splinter Cell did not like the Tom Clancy...
Former Senior Level Designer at Ubisoft Montreal, Ed Byrne, revealed that several developers of the original Splinter Cell did not like the Tom Clancy books, partly due to the author's Republican views.
In a conversation with Game Informer (via NME), Byrne explained that the team was primarily composed of "a group of left-liberal idealists," and that scriptwriter J. T. Petty was "a sandal-wearing, vegan student from NYU." In contrast, Clancy supported Ronald Reagan and expressed the view on the Fox News program The O'Reilly Factor that the American left was partially responsible for the events of September 11 after "starving" the CIA.
"They were just terrible," Byrne said about Tom Clancy's novels. "I can admit it now. I'm sure Ubisoft would love to hear that, but I mean, none of us liked Clancy. It wasn't our dream license."
Despite the lack of enthusiasm for Clancy's novels and political views, many more games were developed under his name. After Splinter Cell, the French publishing giant released The Sum of All Fears, Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm, EndWar, H.A.W.X, The Division, Elite Squad, Rainbow Six Siege, and Wildlands. There are also several games in development carrying the Tom Clancy name that have not been released yet, such as The Division Heartland, Ghost Recon Frontline, Rainbow Six Mobile, The Division Resurgence, and the Splinter Cell Remake. On the other hand, XDefiant has completely dropped the Tom Clancy name.
During the development of the original Splinter Cell, according to Byrne, the team filled it with tropes and seasoned it with irony. "Once I had lunch with the guys from PAX, and they were big fans," Byrne said. "And when I told them this story, they were like 'Wait, wait, Splinter Cell was ironic? It was an ironic Clancy game?'"
It got to the point where we were just throwing in all these tropes to see what we could get away with, and every time we added more tropes, it became more and more like Clancy [...]. What we realized was, 'Well, we can just slap Clancy's name on anything'.
According to Byrne, the only rule that Clancy's people gave to the development team was that the player was not allowed to kill anyone in a church. Other than that, they had complete freedom. Splinter Cell wasn't even based on a Tom Clancy novel because the team had been looking for options but couldn't find anything suitable to adapt. A book was later written based on the games, but it was authored by David Michaels.
The Splinter Cell Remake does not have a release date yet, but it is expected to come out sometime next year.