Eidos Montreal boss Stéphane D'Astous reckons we'll be "very happily surprised and impressed" with Thief 4, which was officially announced yesterday.
"People should know that Thief is the grandfather of the stealth genre, which was a new type of gameplay back in 1998, and it's important for people to know that this game really created that. It shook the ground a decade ago, and we're trying our best to bring it to market and break new ground," D'Astous told IncGamers.
"The setting, the character, the story, the features - anything related to the actual content of the game, we cannot discuss for now. What I can say is that people are going to be very happily surprised and impressed. I think that we've put our finger on a number of things. Innovation and originality will be important, and I think it's going to serve this great franchise very well."
The Eidos Montreal team has finished the conceptual phase of development with a core team of 20. The next step will be hiring around 40 others as the project moves into pre-production. Incidentally, none of that number includes former Looking Glass Studios staff who responsible for the original Thief games, "But we've done our homework," added D'Astous.
"We went through this a couple of years ago when we launched the Deus Ex 3 project, so we're pretty much in constant contact with a couple of people. We have people that have worked on the Rainbow Six series, on Prince of Persia, on the Splinter Cell games - the list is very long and we'll soon release the pedigree of the team, and you'll notice that these guys have a lot of credentials," he said.
Of chief importance will be the vocal communities of both Thief and Deus Ex. D'Astous said something the fans clearly want are the original Thief voice actors to return, "And this is obviously something that we'll consider very seriously."
"The communities of these two projects are so vocal, so protective of what they want, and one thing is for sure - they're very active!" explained D'Astous.
"We're keeping our ear very close to the ground. As you may have noticed, we now have a forum up and running for Thief 4, and I said to my guys, 'I really want to have a forum at the very early stages,' because I want people to have a medium with which they can express their wishes, their expectations, and what they would like and not like to happen with the next Thief.
"Our main goal is that the essence and the spirit of these two franchises are as good now as ever before," he added. "Now we need to bring them to the highest level of technology, the highest level of design - the characters are very important, the story is important; we recognise all that, and a good game remains a good game if it's made accordingly."
More information will be released towards the end of the year. Until then, fans can pledge their support by buying themed merchandise for either Thief 4 or Deus Ex from a Virtual Boutique, which should go live today.
Dates and platforms for Thief 4 are yet to be confirmed.