An image apparently showing Assassin's Creed's Ezio Auditore da Firenze in Soul Calibur V has made its way online, suggesting Ubisoft's Italian assassin will appear as a guest character in the Namco Bandai fighter.
Soul Calibur 2 was the first in the series to introduce guest characters with Tekken's Heihachi on the PlayStation 2 version, Legend of Zelda's Link on the GameCube and Todd McFarlane's Spawn on the Xbox.
Since then the series has played host to characters from Star Wars, Tales of Symphonia and God of War. The Ezio image is believed to have originated from the PS3blog liveblog of a Namco Bandai event, but it has since been removed.
Discerning gamers have pointed out the discrepency between the art style used for Ezio and Pyrrha, and suggested the image is a result of some Photoshop wizardry.
Since there's prescedent for Namco Bandai buddying up with other publishers for Soul Calibur guest characters we wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be true. Ezio certainly would be a good fit - he's pretty handy with a blade.
The live blog also mentioned a release date of January 31, 2012, though this is also unconfirmed as of yet.
Soul Calibur 5 director Daishi Odashima recently revealed details for a new 'Critical Edge' system being worked into the new fighter.