A little under a decade since the last Sly Cooper game, it seems like the beloved franchise of anthropomorphic animal thieves is stirring once again - however, by the time we see anything come of this we'll probably have crossed that ten year line since Thieves in Time. According to an insider report, a new Sly Cooper title is in very early development.
The news made the rounds on Twitter initially, with a reputable industry insider who sports a good track record of reporting accurate info spoke about a fifth mainline Sly Cooper game being in development. The insider, Nick Baker, reiterated that the game is very early in development.
Very early in development generally tends to translate to "years away from release, and maybe even official acknowledgement" - GTA fans sure know how that feels - and in the current climate of common game delays you just can't bet on development pipelines anymore. In any case, as Thieves in Time was released in 2013, you can bet that Sly Cooper 5 will launch at least a decade after it.
Thieves in Time had a special secret ending video that players could unlock by completing specific actions throughout the game, and that secret ending itself was a set up for a sequel. Thieves in Time was developed by Sanzaru Games instead of original creators Sucker Punch Productions, as the latter was working on the Infamous franchise at the time.
From what I've been told it's early. Quite early.
— Nick (@Shpeshal_Nick) October 15, 2021
While the secret ending set up a continuation, Sanzaru confirmed that the company won't be making any further Sly Cooper games - so we imagine Sucker Punch is back for the fifth entry. That said, many of the rumors swirling around the hypothetical Sly Cooper 5 indicate the Sucker Punch is out too.
The secret ending of Sly Cooper 4 - and spoilers here, if you haven't seen it yet - show the titular raccoon waking up among wreckage in a distinctly ancient Egypt styled location, which is implied to be the setting, at least initially, of a sequel.
In any case, this still doesn't amount to any kind of official confirmation - no matter how good a track record an insider has or how reliable the source of a leak is, anything less than official news should be regarded with some skepticism. Even if the report is true now, things happening behind closed doors may delay or even cancel the project - though we certainly hope not.
Sly Cooper enjoys cult popularity and is one of the most beloved franchises associated with the PlayStation console. Aside of the main 4 titles, Sly has appeared in collected re-releases, PlayStation Move Heroes and in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sony's answer to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros.
There was also a seemingly failed attempt to bring Sly Cooper to the big screen as an animated movie, and to also adapt the stories of the crafty thief as a TV series. Following the box office bomb of the Ratchet and Clank movie, both of these projects have been stuck in a limbo and probably won't see the light of day - hopefully, Sly Cooper 5 fares better!