Central Clancy writer Richard Dansky spoke at length about the development of Sam Fisher as a character and the role he plays in the upcoming Splinter Cell Blacklist in an interview with Ubisoft's Zack Cooper.
Richard Dansky has been involved with the development of the Splinter Cell franchise since its inception at Red Storm back in 1999 and he's been involved with almost all the Clancy titles, including the original Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, and Rainbow 6.
He responded to comments about the appearance of Sam Fisher's age in the upcoming Splinter Cell Blacklist, where he appears to be younger, and is voiced by a younger voice actor.
Dansky explained: "When you have a character who's as iconic as Sam is, who stands for something—the experienced spy, the agent who has been there, seen it, done these things—what's important are those qualities rather than the actual specifics.
"If you stick a date and hang little specifics in there that become things that distract you from those core iconic qualities, then you're doing yourself a disservice and you're doing the character a disservice," he said.
"What's important is who Sam is, what he is, and that's the timeless nature he has as the experienced guy, who has been there, and done that, and done it better than anyone else."
Dansky elaborated on the character of Sam Fisher, whom he says is defined by his professionalism. "A lot of it his professionalism. There's no bravado to him. He's not there to be macho. He is there to do the job in the service of his morality, and in the service of what he thinks is right, and to do it better than anyone else can."
"He is the one man who can get in there and act decisively and his actions can have consequences—can literally move mountains, can change the world—and he is the only one who can be there at that time, at that place, and do it."
Despite the ending to Conviction, in which Sam has made his peace with the world and walks away from the job that has long since defined his life, Sam is called back into action due to the events that take place in Blacklist.
"There's a recognition that this is what he does. This is what he was born to do. He is not the sort of guy who can retire quietly," said Dansky. "He has these skills. He has these talents. It is what he is and what he does. The challenge of the Blacklist is what forces him to rise to the occasion and take on new responsibilities and new threats that are in many ways greater than anything he's faced before."