Original Sam Fisher voice actor Michael Ironside has discussed how Ubisoft changed the character after Ironside raised concerns on reading the original script for the 2002 original release.
The actor had been fielding questions on a Reddit AMA, and explained how when he got the original script, I didn't want to do it".
"I have to confess I'm not a gamer," he explained. "When they sent me the contract for the very first game, it was quite lucrative, and I said 'absolutely, I will do this'. I thought it was going to be like PONG, and I would just have to introduce it.
"When I got the script, it was very stiff, very inflexible, and very blood and violent. And I didn't want to do it. And told them I was going to give them back their money. They asked me what would it take to keep me on the project, and I said we would have to change the character, and give him some type of humanity. To their credit, they sat me down with the game creators, and we came up with the present Sam Fisher, who had an empathy and was not just a 2 dimensional killing machine. And we got as much humanity, I think that that format will allow."
Ironside also went on to discuss how surprised he was at the range of people that played the series, remembering how on a transatlantic flight after the first game's release he was accosted by "an absolute Splinter Cell freak" in a three-piece suit.
"The great thing about the game is that I've found over the years that a lot of people from different social, racial, and ethnic and national backgrounds to have a worldwide conversation. Because they're all gaming together online!
And where I thought the stereotypical gamer was an oversized pair of pants, runny nose, sitting in a corner, playing with his control, it's actually none of that. It hits every level of society, and every socio-economic group."