A senior employee representing Epic Games has publicised concept art for what he claims is a new and unannounced IP at the studio.
The nature of the artwork, however, suggests that the new game's star character may be taken from the famous Samaritan demo that was released in 2011.
Jay Hosfelt, a lead animator at Epic Games who has worked at the North Carolina studio since 2003, revealed the character model art during a presentation at the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday.
Although the concept art bears a resemblance to the Samaritan demo, which was first made public during GDC 2011, Hosfelt did not mention it by name during his presentation. According to a Polygon reporter in attendance. Instead he suggested the character art was from a new IP in development.
It would be a surprising coincidence if the art is not connected to the Samaritan demo; the character wears the same brown leather trenchcoat, carries the same enlarged revolver and holds a cigarette in his mouth.
During his talk, Hosfelt's reportedly showed of the character model with two different heads; perhaps a reference to the morphing capabilities shown in the 2011 Samaritan video. The focus of the talk, entitled 'Animation Prototyping for Games', was the new iterative design process that Epic Games now practices.
He added that the artwork was of a non-final character model, which was assembled rapidly under the philosophy of trialling new ideas as quickly as possible. He said this streamlined process was made possible thanks to new advances with Epic Games' latest game engine, Unreal Engine 4.
Samaritan was first made public during GDC 2011, though it was never announced as a full game project. Epic later said that although the demo was playable to an extent, it was not intended to be a piece of commercial interactive software.
During that time, around half of Epic was sold to China's social games giant Tencent, for about $330 million.
In January, the studio sold its most lucrative franchise ever - Gears of War - to Microsoft. The move triggered questions from fans about whether the studio was still working on games, which led to a representative from the studio insisting that multiple projects were in development.
One of its key projects, Fortnight, which was announced in 2011 but has not been publicised since, is said to still be in development.