Splinter Cell isn’t as popular as it could be because it’s complex and difficult, according to Ubisoft Toronto managing director Jade Raymond.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Raymond said, "One of the things that held it back is despite all of the changes that have happened over the years – it's still one of the more complex and difficult games to play."

"Even though we do have core fans who are like, 'Oh, I want to have more of this experience,' when you play any other game that has stealth elements, they're all a lot more forgiving than Splinter Cell.

Raymond said Splinter Cell represented the purest approach to stealth.

"The first thing you have to do when you start in a map – even in Conviction, which did go quite a bit more action-oriented than the past – is the planning phase," she said.

"So before entering a room you've got to spend some time thinking, right, so where are the guys positioned? How will I get through here? Where's cover? How do I hide? Okay, I'm going to shoot out those lights. 'This is my strategy' is an important first phase.

"By default there aren't many games where that's the phase. Most games you can walk in and you start shooting right away, or you just walk in and you improvise as you go along.

"But Splinter Cell still really is a thinking game. It's really about being intelligent and taking that time in the first phase to plan out how you're going to do things, and understanding the elements, and even planning your gadgets and your load-out and being smart about it.

“That's where you get the thrill, but it's a different way of playing than most games on the market these days."

For the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Toronto tried to expand the options available to the player in the hope of broadening its audience.

The hardcore will still be able to ghost through a level without killing anyone, and Perfectionist Mode removes mechanics such as Mark and Execute that make the game easier.

"That's for those who want to plan it out and feel really smart, and, 'I'm going to use the Sticky Cam with the Sleeping Gas and them I'm going to whistle and the guy's going to come,' and do the full set-up," said Raymond.

However for others Blacklist would offer a more “fluid, modern play-style", said Raymond.

"You can climb up, do 3D navigation and jump over things without thinking too much or pressing buttons," she said.

"Sam does it automatically. The Killing in Motion, being able to Mark and Execute while moving through the map, makes it much more accessible to more of an action gamer."

"It's no longer about tailing people and eavesdropping," she said.

"The reality of what a modern spy is post-9/11 is really in-line with Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy and the gadgets and what's going on on the information side of things, which is at the roots of the game.”

Splinter Cell: Blacklist is due out in August for Windows PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360.