Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, a video game from the year of our lord 2005, is currently free to download on the Ubisoft Store. It is also on sale for 75% off on Steam as part of the company’s 35th anniversary celebration. Enjoy your scraps peons, one of the industry’s biggest publishers is now old enough to have had at least one divorce.
The publisher also gave away the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles trilogy last week as part of this celebration, which was another “totally fine, but not particularly relevant” game to give away. Given Ubisoft’s massive catalogue, these may seem like odd choices, however it was recently reported by VGC that the publisher had entered production of a new Splinter Cell game following the series’ recent history of repeated flops on mobile and VR platforms. While Splinter Cell Blacklist may have been a slightly better choice for getting “the modern gamer” invested in the series, I cannot argue with free.
Last September Ubisoft also announced a remake of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, potentially signalling a larger push to return to its earlier franchises. Given the incredible success of the soft Assassin’s Creed reboot, it is no wonder that the publisher would attempt to capture that magic again across its catalogue.
Ubisoft has a lot of goodwill to earn back after the last few years of consistent harassment allegations leveled at the company, which recently claimed to be doing much better about protecting its workers. Employees, however, vehemently disagree that any significant changes have been made and claim that these problems still persist at every level of the company.
I don’t think that reviving fan favourite franchises is the best way to win back the public’s esteem. In fact, I would suggest that maybe for the company’s 40th anniversary it can actually implement structural changes to make its workplace liveable for women. More than any token free game, that’s something I could celebrate.