Dev Explains Replacing Michael Ironside in Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Michael Ironside will not be reprising his role as Sam Fisher in the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Ubisoft has explained his absence and replacement as a result of the series’ increased dependency on motion-captured performances.
In an interview with IGN, the game’s Creative Director Max Beland explained that the studio had, in the past, used three separate individuals to capture the whole of Sam Fisher—a voice actor, a facial animator, and a motion capture artist.
“On Blacklist we knew that we wanted to raise the bar of our scripted events, of our cinematics, and to do that we knew we had to go to performance capture,” he said.
“The difference between motion capture and performance capture is that with performance capture, you’re capturing everything at the same time.
“So we had one actor doing the body, the voice and the face. We have a camera that’s recording all the facial animations so right there, because you’re capturing a true actor’s performance, and the level of quality is raised instantly.”
Beland explained that Ubisoft sought out an actor who was capable of producing the voice of Sam Fisher as well as embodying his physicality.
“That’s why we had to go with an actor that was able to do that, so we found Eric Johnson,” said Beland, who replaces Michael Ironside.