Is a New Sly Cooper Game ACTUALLY Confirmed?!

by: Lizabeth Phoenix

Fans of Sly Cooper have been waiting for another installment in their favorite franchise for nearly a decade, and it looks like their loyalty is about to be rewarded! Recent leaks suggest that a new game could be revealed as early as this year! 

If you’re not familiar with Sly Cooper, Sucker Punch’s original trilogy follows Sly, a suave raccoon thief, after his father’s brutal murder by the notorious Fiendish Five. As he discovers more about Cooper's legacy, he faces his family’s villains head-on.

A descendant of master thieves, Sly learns to treasure what is truly valuable – both his friendship with his gang, Bentley and Murray, and his relationship with Inspector Carmelita Fox–over his family’s untold wealth.

When his thieving ways fail to provide true fulfillment, he chooses what life’s really about. Plus, there’s plenty of smooth-talking, cane-wielding cops and robbers gameplay to keep you hooked from start to finish. See what I did there? “Hooked.” ‘Cause of the cane? No? Fine.

All of my terrible puns aside, Sly Cooper is a resonant story that isn't afraid to lean into thought-provoking themes and give gamers a complex, character-rich plot. Not to mention, the last installment ended on a cliffhanger that fans are eager to see resolved!

If you’ve been following my articles (or recent gaming news!), you’ll know that Sly’s long-awaited return has been in the works for quite a while now. When an easter egg appeared in the 2021 PlayStation Showcase, hope exploded.

Since then, several tweets have claimed that the new Sly Cooper game is in development. Some of these leaks have been taken down, but luckily, we have pictures, thanks to my super-secret Sly source! One particular tweet by noteworthy leaker AccountNGT corroborates that a Sly Cooper game and a new Infamous are both in development.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Quite a few leaks have popped up online asserting that gamers can expect a Sly reveal sometime in the second half of 2022. As Sly’s 20th anniversary is September 23, 2022, it would make perfect sense to tease the new title and honor the beloved franchise. 

Additionally, @Shpeshal_Nick tweeted that he’d been given permission by an anonymous source to share that PixelOpus, the developer that made Concrete Genie, is suspected to be developing the game in collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation. If PixelOpus is the developer, there's a lot of pressure on them to uphold the Cooper legacy and deliver a title that not just meets fan expectations after all this time but also brings something new and canon-faithful to the table. 

Also, surprise: Sony Pictures Animation is rumored to still be working on the Sly Cooper animated series that’s been in development for several years. Again, none of this is for certain. But it’s all very exciting, nonetheless! With video game adaptations like Arcane (based on League of Legends) performing so well, I can only imagine the excellence they could achieve with Sly's wisecracking persona. I appreciate animated series with grit and heart, so I'm overjoyed Sony recognizes Sly's unlimited potential.

WHY IS THIS CREDIBLE?

Despite the lack of official confirmation from Sony or Sucker Punch, both AccountNGT and Shpeshal_Nick have previously shared reliable information. AccountNGT accurately shared a few images from the Star Wars: Eclipse trailer before it had even been released. Shpeshal_Nick is a well-known and reliable leaker in the online community- and has accurately shared information on many PS Plus games. 

On top of that, notable gaming news outlets such as Screenrant, Gamerant, and Comicbook have all covered these new developments. If that isn’t enough to convince you, Sly Cooper’s domain name has been revived. 

One Twitter user even shared screenshots from AccountNGT’s Discord server, anticipating that it won’t be a remake and might be expected sometime in 2023.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time left fans with a major cliffhanger in 2013, and they’ve been waiting to see what would happen to their favorite thief ever since. How dare they leave Sly out there in the desert all alone! I'm personally offended by this, and if Sly doesn't come back as the badass he is, someone is getting a very strongly worded letter from me. Who, I have no idea, but someone….

Why? Because people genuinely can't wait for Cooper's revival. Many in the Sly community have been replaying The Sly Trilogy and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time on PS Now (now PlayStation Plus) in anticipation. It's amazing seeing everyone rally around the latest news and share their excitement, including skyrocketing Sly's popularity by making him trend on Twitter. With such credible gaming news platforms sharing their thoughts on these rumors, I think it’s safe to say fans can get their hopes up for Sly’s return.

Cautiously, of course. The industry regularly experiences delays due to unforeseen circumstances and development complications, so there are no concrete promises. However the number of credible recent leaks and news coverage is enough to make even the most skeptical of Sly supporters raise an eyebrow…. 

If you want to hear even more evidence supporting Sly's return, check out this video by Canadian Guy Eh talking about how Sly 5 might use Unreal Engine 5!

Until Sony announces it for real, I vote we do like Murray and grab a donut or two while the fans wait for more news!

Sly 5 confirmed? A long-awaited Return Could be on the Way

In case you haven’t heard, there’s some exciting news floating around for all the Sly Cooper fans who have been faithfully awaiting the return of the beloved franchise! As you may know, an easter egg recently appeared in the PlayStation Showcase showing the Sly Cooper symbol appearing on a guard rail for a brief glimpse. Considering that a similar Easter egg preceded Crash Bandicoot's return, many fans believe this glimpse is the first nod toward the revival of Sucker Punch’s standout franchise.

Sly Cooper tease in PlayStation Showcase in 2021

The Sly Cooper tease in the PlayStation Showcase in 2021.

 

If you aren’t already familiar with the iconic raccoon, Sly Cooper is a stealth platformer series developed by Sucker Punch Productions. Throughout the story, which still rings true for both children and adults (a rare achievement in storytelling), the memorable and heartfelt cast of characters wrestle with themes of legacy, friendship, redemption, and more. Its cel-shaded graphics lend a memorable style to the tale, and after watching the Sly Collection's latest trailer, it's not hard to see why those passionate about the franchise are excited that the gentleman thief may be making a return!

Sly Cooper rumor from October 2021Those hopes may soon be fulfilled. Recently, an insider by the name of @Shpeshal_Nick, with a proven track record for such rumors, shared the news, stating that his "normal" Sony source confirmed that Sly is indeed coming back. We don’t know yet which studio is developing the new game or what content is guaranteed (assuming the leak is accurate), but many speculations are floating around. Some of the most recent theories are that Sly Cooper may be remade by BluePoint Games or that the mysterious developer is instead foregoing the remake and working on an original game

Sly Cooper and friends gamingA Gamer Rant article puts forth the possibility that Sucker Punch themselves could be working on two games at once, both Sly and their Ghost of Tsushima franchise. However, this seems unlikely as “According to Nick, he ‘kept being told’ that Sucker Punch is not the studio developing the new game. Sanzaru worked on Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, the fourth installment in the franchise, but the studio has recently been acquired by Facebook and Oculus Studios. Thus, it's also unlikely they've taken on the project. Fans are keeping their eyes on Toys for Bob and Sumo Digital as possible developers, too. 

Regardless of who will be making it and what content we can expect, Sly Cooper and the Gang appear ready to return. Gamers who played the series when it originally came out along with those who’ve experienced it on PS Now or through retrospectives and other avenues can agree that the heir to the Cooper legacy has deserved a comeback for a long time. With any luck, in the not-so-far-away future, we'll get a teaser trailer with the iconic ancestral cane flashing in the light once more. 

What do you think about all this news? If Sly Cooper is in fact stealthing his way back onto the scene, will you grab a controller and join the fans?

 

Why Sly Cooper Deserves a Return

For those of you who may not be familiar with the Master Thief himself, Sly Cooper has been tiptoeing on the periphery of recent entertainment. Originally created by Sucker Punch Productions, Sly Cooper first leaped onto the scene as a suave, stealthy thief with a penchant for a particularly foxy cop. His story grew to explore themes such as grappling with the weight of familial legacy, overcoming your past, supporting your loved ones, and forging new futures. 

Tragically, the Cooper Gang hasn't had a game since 2013, and Sucker Punch hasn't created another installment for their original PlayStation-exclusive IP since 2005. Despite this, the fandom has been alive and well. Sly loyalists thrive in all corners of the internet such as the various Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook groups that faithfully await the day the Cooper Legacy takes the stage once again. With the recent marketing hype surrounding Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, I'm making the case as to why now would be the perfect time for Sucker Punch to revive their most beloved character.

The Cooper Gang

 

The History of Sly Cooper

Duality at its finest.

Before we dive into why we need to hit the respawn button, let’s take a glance at Sly’s history. Sucker Punch Productions, the creator of not only the Sly Trilogy but also the groundbreaking games Ghost of Tsushima and inFAMOUS, originally introduced the smooth criminal to the world in 2002. The first game, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, follows Sly as he recovers the Thievius Raccoonus, a treasured family heirloom while staying ahead of both the fiendish Clockwerk and the zealous Inspector Carmelita Fox. With their second installment, Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Sucker Punch explored themes like betrayal, friendship, and the cost of hatred. In their final in-house production of the original trilogy, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, they close Sly's story masterfully by tackling topics such as forgiveness, making peace with your past, and defining your own legacy. The fandom has been constantly requesting a continuation by Sly's original creators, who have even left Easter eggs for the breakthrough franchise within Ghost of Tsushima and inFAMOUS

The Gang's all here.

 

How We Left Things

To keep things brief and spoiler-free: Sly 3 begins with the Cooper Gang about to launch a high-stakes heist against a new villain, but things go sideways. During the height of danger, Sly provides us with an extensive flashback comprising the main story of the game. After the final battle, Sly is seen offering a mischievous wink that implies to the player he's not out of the game yet. This leaves the door open for a new installment to pick up right where things left off. 

Sly and Carmelita

 

What the Fandom Wants

In the meantime, the fandom has been keeping the Cooper Gang alive. A quick visit to the subreddit r/Slycooper will reveal a treasure trove of media coverage, screenshots of Easter eggs, and humorous raccoon videos reminiscent of their favorite Master Thief. A visit to the Twitter hashtag #SlyCooper will uncover extensive celebration of the Sly Cooper Funko Pop!, fan-made memes, and some truly epic fan art. The official Sly Cooper Facebook FanPage boasts lively support of Sly's sneaky cameo in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, hearty debates, links to discussion and retrospective videos, and even tattoos. Sly is a truly iconic platforming mascot with a stunning story that's appropriate for all ages, carrying its players well through adulthood with its meaningful narrative and timeless character arcs. Thus, fans have been asking for a remake of Sucker Punch's original trilogy for years.

Planning... and lunch.

 

Now is the Perfect Time!

Sly is getting more press now than he's seen in years. In fact, Funko just released a new POP! figurine as a GameStop exclusive in the U.S.! Plus, Sucker Punch Productions is in a great position right now: Ghost of Tsushima was released to incredible success and brought Sucker Punch to new heights in the world of video game production, including winning the Players Voice Award at The Game Awards. That award-winning game brought in solid revenue that could theoretically be applied to reviving the Sly Cooper IP. 

Not to mention, the PS5 has brand-new features such as the AMD Radeon RDNA 2 sporting variable frequency, 10.3 teraflops, and ray tracing, all of which produce even more realistic lighting effects through a complicated rendering technique that impeccably imitates light in natural environments. These new enhancements would allow the developers to showcase Sly's unique design and gameplay mechanics on the next-gen console. 

The world's most intellectual thief.

 

Suggestions for New Content

There are various options for bringing Sly and the Cooper Gang back to the screen. Sucker Punch could offer a remaster, which is the original game offered with amplified graphics. Even better, they could produce a remake by rebuilding the game from the ground up with smoother mechanics, improved graphics, and enhanced voice acting audio (keeping the original cast, of course–who can replace Kevin Miller as Sly?). 

A reboot may not be preferable, as these often involve changing beloved character origins, design, story, and voice. If they decided to go in the direction of a movie or television show, they would adapt the characters, animation, and storytelling for the big screen or a streaming service. In fact, there was even a teaser trailer released in 2014 featuring "the world's greatest thief-turned-hero."

 

Smooth criminal.

In short, Sly Cooper brought wisdom and maturity to platformer storytelling that has never been seen before. He has the heart and soul, narrative prowess, history, and fandom to support a new installment or continuation. Every Easter egg, teaser, or piece of media shared featuring Sly and the Cooper Gang receives stand-out support from the online gaming community. And, of course, the new PS5 console can truly deliver the franchise's stellar plot with mind-blowingly gorgeous new graphics and riveting gameplay possibilities. As I’ve heard from Sly Cooper connoisseur @r116terrell, who has collected everything down to the complete press kits for the trilogy, now is the time for the Cooper Legacy to come back to life!

Legend.

 

Have you ever played the Sly Cooper trilogy? What are your thoughts on the franchise receiving new content? Slip your thoughts into the comments and let's talk about it!