Well, that’s a turn up for the books.
Far Cry 2 creative director and former Splinter Cell lead Clint Hocking has joined Ubisoft Toronto, having farewelled the publisher back in 2010.
In the years since Hocking has done stints at LucasArts, Valve and most recently Amazon Game Studios, where his resignation was one of a sudden cluster of departures. He hasn’t shipped any personally-led projects in this span.
Speaking with the Ubiblog, Hocking said he decided to join Ubisoft Toronto after a visit brought him in touch with some familiar faces, and when he realised how much of his design philosophy was shaped by his ten years at Ubisoft Montreal.
“It felt like a really good fit. It felt like family and it made a lot of sense,” he said.
“Everyone here has been super welcoming and the team is really excited and chomping at the bit to get going on our project here. It feels great to be getting traction and moving things forward. We’re starting to talk to different people about different ideas. Instead of just imagining, we’re actually doing.”
Yeah, I can imagine getting something done might be high on Hocking’s list after what has probably been a frustrating decade. We don’t know what that thing is, though; Hocking said he’s definitely not working on Splinter Cell.
“When I stopped working on Splinter Cell after Chaos Theory the honest truth is I didn’t think I could make a better one,” he said.
“I feel like I had made the very best Splinter Cell I could ever make and the best thing for me to do for Ubisoft and for Splinter Cell fans was to hand it off and let someone else try to figure out how to make that game differently or better and bring a new vision and a new flavor to it.
“I can’t say specifically what I’m working on yet, but I’m working with a great team on some things that I think are interesting, challenging and innovative. They are going in the direction that I think games need to go in, for both players and for Ubisoft in the future.”
I’m quietly hopeful Hocking is spearheading a virtual reality project; Ubisoft’s considerable bulk would certainly help build momentum. But that’s pure speculation. Anyway, welcome back, Clint.