Here’s the scoop: Assassin’s Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction, both developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft, are slated to hit this year. The former is a multi-platform release and Conviction will be a Windows PC and Xbox 360 game. Both titles enjoyed a huge deal of attention during June’s E3 conference in Los Angeles.

Too bad Splinter Cell won’t be enjoying a fall 2009 release.

Sam Fisher’s newest entry was subjected to a drastic overhaul after it was determined the game shared too many similarities to 2007’s breakout new intellectual property, Assassin’s Creed. The developers went dark and new information on the project dulled to silence. Upon it’s unveiling at Microsoft’s 2009 E3 press conference Splinter Cell: Conviction was heralded as one of the show’s finest new products and fan anticipation soared. Claiming more E3 awards than any other Xbox 360 title at the show, Conviction was immediately destined to become a blockbuster experience.

The Splinter Cell series has sold an estimated 19 million sales during its four game tenure while new IP Assassin’s Creed immediately sold 6 million copies between the PS3 and 360. Should that trend continue at a steady rate, three Assassin’s Creed titles could top Splinter Cell’s present mark. Conviction will raise the number, of course, but as far as sales figures show, Assassin’s Creed is likely to sell more copies of an individual release than a Splinter Cell title.

Ubisoft would be wise to distance these two behemoths this holiday season. Logic suggests they fill their relatively empty spring 2010 portfolio with the console exclusive Splinter Cell title and give Assassin’s Creed 2 the opportunity to sell on a multiplatform release this buying season.

Microsoft, having console exclusivity, will want a solid game to put up against Sony’s God of War 3 in March 2010 and I’m guessing they’ll want to beat that to market by a couple of weeks with Conviction. Ubisoft and Microsoft have a great relationship and Splinter Cell has always been a franchise associated with Xbox.

Taking a look into Ubisoft’s publishing and release history reveals several interesting facts about the Splinter Cell franchise:

  •  Regarding console exclusivity, no previous Splinter Cell title has failed to reach a Sony platform. The series’ only entry on the Playstation 3 system was Splinter Cell: Double Agent.
  • The original Splinter Cell and Splinter Cell: Double Agent were the only games in the series to release in the fall. Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Splinter Cell: Double Agent both released in March of their respective years.
  • The last two major Splinter Cell games have been delayed after announcing an initial release date.

 

Gamers would undoubtedly love having both Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed to play this year thanks to an ever-shrinking list of fourth-quarter titles, but the smart business choice for Ubisoft doesn’t cater to having both blockbusters on the shelves this fall.

Edit: Formatting issues. Sorry.