About six years ago, the French video-game development company Ubisoft Entertainment made the gutsy decision to hand control of a top-secret Tom Clancy character to a small design studio it had set up in Montreal.
The developers there were young and most were relatively inexperienced.
Until then, the studio had mainly made children's titles such as Disney Corp.'s Dinosaur and Donald Duck Goin' Quackers.
But the Canadian developers were hungry for more complex games and storylines. They wanted an opportunity to prove themselves.
"We knew if we succeeded doing these games, they would keep sending us more," said Mathieu Ferland, senior producer and team leader on the Tom Clancy Splinter Cell series of games.