I'm not saying I hate CT and love Conviction I enjoyed both games very much, but the next Splinter Cell is not going to back to the roots of CT or any other Splinter Cell. Now let me explain why.
Obviously if your in the video game business, your number one goal is to make money. This day and age video games are way more popular then they was 5 to 6 years ago, back when it was just the PS2, sure there was tons of gamers but the Average game online had what maybe 30-50K people? Now, you have an average over 100K people per game, depending on the game. Last gen technology doesn't work well with next gen systems, they tried to give us the Splinter Cell from the PS2 and Xbox days with Double Agent and I would say it failed pretty bad. In 2010 as well as a few years ago, more and more games are being aimed at the "casual" gamer. If you gave the casual gamer today a copy of CT, there's a 90% chance that casual gamer isn't going to enjoy the game. Now that doesn't mean that the developers are going to forget about the hardcore players, in Conviction they added Deniable Ops game modes for the hardcore players but also changed the gameplay to appeal to new players as well.
I'm sure there is tons of hardcore Splinter Cell fans out there, but Conviction has brought in new players that's never played a Splinter Cell game and also please some hardcore fans, which was Ubisoft's goal. Ubisoft is not going to make a game strictly for the hardcore audience, simply because they wouldn't make that much money and thats there whole purpose of making a video game. I'm not saying the next Splinter Cell won't include SvM because that seams to be the #1 problem right now, but don't count on them bringing back the play style of CT. I can guarantee you that the next Splinter Cell game will play just like Conviction because it appeals to new and casual gamers, as well as some of the hardcore fan base.
This isn't something that is happening just to Splinter Cell, many games in fact are doing this now and making there games more causal because there's so many more causal gamers now, then there was a few years ago. Another franchise that is a perfect example on how Splinter Cell is going is SOCOM. As a huge fan of the series, I don't want the next game to be any different from SOCOM II, much like most of the hardcore Splinter Cell fans don't want Conviction and want Chaos Theory 2. When they brought SOCOM to the next gen system they tried to keep the SOCOM II feel (even though it was a different developer) but the game failed very bad, similar to what happened with Double Agent. So now SOCOM 4 is going into a brand new direction, drifting away from what the old games where just like Conviction is doing now, and now more casual gamers are interested in SOCOM.
This may be news to some of you, but you need to face the facts, casual gamers are taking over the gaming industry. More and more gamers are being developed with the intention of bringing in new casual gamers but also TRYING to please there hardcore fan base. Some don't do well, some do, Conviction has done well. The reviews where mostly 9's, casual gamers are loving and now playing Splinter Cell and even some of the hardcore fan base is pleased with the new direction which the game is going.
As hardcore fans of the series you can beg, plea, and boycott all you want. Sure some things you request might happen, but for the most part there not because there here to make money and thats there number one goal. Switching Splinter Cell to a stealth/action game compared to just a stealth game is going to attract new players and make overall sales better for Ubisoft. You can hate on Conviction all you want, but the basic essentials of Splinter Cell is still there. Its still a stealth game but you can now play it as more of an action game, there giving us that option so that way new players can enjoy there shoot em up type of game, and hardcore players can enjoy there stealth style type of play.
Bottom line is, if your expecting the next Splinter Cell to be Chaos Theory 2, then I'm sorry to disappoint you but its not going to happen. You can say "You never know, it might" all you want but deep down you know, as well as every other Splinter Cell fan on these boards, that Conviction is the future of the next Splinter Cell game(s) until they find a new way to change the game.