Four years and hundreds of rumors later, Square-Enix finally debuts the next-gen bound ‘Thief’

thief (1)Not unlike Ubisoft who unveiled cover art to get ahead of the numerous leaks, Square-Enix was forced to take the lid off a major next-generation console game just a bit early on Tuesday. Unlike Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag though, Square’s game was shown off just a few hours before its scheduled debut. Russian website Games Maniac leaked images taken from what turned out to be Game Informer’s next cover feature (seen to the right), heralding a new game in a series last seen in 2004. Following the leak, Square made it official: Thief is the company’s first official game scheduled for PC, PlayStation 4 and other unnamed next-generation consoles.

ThiefEidos Montreal, the studio behind 2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution, is developing Thief. It will be the fourth game in the series originally developed by Looking Glass Studios and a young Ken Levine (BioShock Infinite, System Shock 2), that debuted back in 1998.

“We’re handling a precious gemstone with Thief,” said Eidos Montreal’s Stephane D’Astous, “Fans remember the original games very fondly and we want to preserve that essence which we have excellent experience of doing at Eidos Montreal, whilst also introducing Thief to a brand new, next-generation audience. Our goal is to delivery the fantasy of being Garrett, the master thief, and we’re building the game around that experience.”

Eidos Montreal opened in 2007 specifically to work on open-ended, choice-oriented adventure games like Thief and Deus Ex. Prior to Square-Enix acquiring Eidos in 2009, Eidos Montreal confirmed that it would begin work on Thief 4, or Thi4f, when it completed Deus Ex 3. “We’re in the early development stages or Thief 4, but this is an incredibly ambitious and exciting project for Eidos,” said D’Astous in 2009, “While it’s too early for us to offer any specific game details, right now we are focused on recruiting the very best talent to join the core team at the studio and help us make what we believe will be one of the most exciting games on the market.”

 Beyond the new title, platforms it will be available for, and the name of its lead character, Eidos Montreal still doesn’t have much to share about Thief. It’s been suspected for months that Thief would be released on PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s still unannounced Xbox 720, and sources said in August that the game had jumped from Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to the next round of machines.