Opinions amongst fans are divided. Many are now jaded about new Sly Cooper content being perpetually teased (Sly 5, the movie, the animated series, etc.) but never coming to fruition. As longtime Fan Network contributor @tabreezsiddique tweeted "I doubt it's anything to think a whole lot about considering how many teases we've had over the years, I hope I'm proven wrong but I'm not seeing it here."
The last Sly installment, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, was released a shocking 8 years ago in 2013. Shortly after Insomniac's tweet, Sucker Punch Productions quote-tweeted, asking "Where are you taking him!? SLY, JUMP AND PRESS THE CIRCLE BUTTON TO GET OUT OF THERE!"
Insomniac has posted several similar Tweets featuring characters from other iconic Sony franchises as well. Later in the evening, Insomniac revealed that a weapon featured in the new game - dubbed the "RYNO 8" - has the ability to "drop objects from other dimensions into ours." Since interdimensional travel is a central plot device in the upcoming Ratchet game, it could make sense that Ratchet and Clank aren't the only characters breaking free of their realities, and could point to encounters with staples from other games like Sly.
Prior to this Tweet, the announcement of the Sly Cooper Funko Pop figure last Friday (6/4/21) seemed totally random – they've had literal years to release something like this before but never have. It doesn't make sense to debut the item now that Sly hasn't really been relevant since 2013. However, making an appearance in an upcoming game could have been the impetus for the product getting green-lit. Furthermore, as Fan Network follower @HM815222 pointed out, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and the Funko Pop figure are both set to be released on the same day: June 11th.
That said, the Funko Pop figure is clearly based on the Sly model from the first game, "Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus" (Sly is wearing a backpack, no legpack, and the promo logo is from Sly 1). In contrast, the screenshot posted by Insomniac is from the Sly 3 "Flight of Fancy" episode (as Twitter user @smokeshadow74 pointed out). This could suggest that there is no connection between the Funko drop and the Insomniac teaser, but it does seem rather coincidental, and this is just a minor detail to nitpick.
Update #1: At 7:43PM EST, @THEKevinMiller (Sly Cooper's longtime voice actor) quote-tweeted Insomniac's original tweet, posing the question "Did Ratchet scribble this down in the Thievius Raccoonus?" While Kevin Miller could be responding to this news for the first time like the rest of us, some suspect that this is confirmation that the actor is somehow involved with whatever Insomniac is hinting at. Furthermore, on June 4th, in response to the Funko Pop announcement, Miller tweeted "It’s happening!!!" While this could easily just be in reference to the figure, it feels like a statement hinting that this is only the start of much more to come.
Update #3: At 9:34 PM EST, @THEKevinMiller tweeted "Everyone, let me share cause we seem to go through this every year. If SONY is planning a surprise return of Sly Cooper they have yet to involve me! I understand the hope that Sly will swing his cane again but any conspiracy that includes me is wishful thinking. I say with love!" putting to bed any theories that he may have some involvement with whatever may or may not be brewing in the world of Sly Cooper.
Update #2: Later in the evening, Sly fans like @TheSafeHousePS5 @SpyroRichard and @Shrev64 began to notice that #SlyCooper was trending on Twitter gaming - a surprising phenomenon in an era when Sly Cooper has all but disappeared from mainstream public discourse.
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