Is Ezio Auditore one of the fighters in Soulcalibur V? Based on an image captured at a recent fighting game tournament, that seems to be the case.
Ezio Auditore is the main protagonist of Assassin's Creed 2 and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. He dresses like the Ku Klux Klan's idealized version of Batman and spends his days roaming the rooftops of Renaissance-era Italy, looking for people to stab, or just as often, tall things to leap off of.
Soulcalibur V is the upcoming latest iteration in Namco Bandai's most histrionic, wacky fighting game series -- which is a pretty impressive claim given that their other big series regularly features an alcoholic Mexican priest/professional wrestler who may or may yes be more jaguar than man at this point.
And now, if an image sent to Joystiq is to be believed, the former is a part of the latter.
From the site's report on the matter:
The picture ... was provided to us by an anonymous tipster, which we're told comes from a beta version of the upcoming Soulcalibur 5 appearing at recent fighting game tournament. If this shot is real, Assassin's Creed protagonist Ezio Auditore de Firenze will be a playable character in Soul Calibur 5, set to launch next year.
You can see the picture by visting Joystiq (professional courtesy prevents us from swiping the thing). In sum, it's an image of the game's character select screen with Ezio selected alongside Sophitia's daughter.
While I wish I had more solid info than the boys and girls at Joystiq, I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the character in Soulcalibur V. Given the series' past cameos (Link, Spawn, Darth Vader, etcetera), this certainly seems like something that could happen, and the character would fit as well as Yoda did, but until we hear something from Namco Bandai, this remains a rumor.
Oh, and for the record, if this is true, I'd like to express a bit of disappointment in Namco Bandai. I realize that the Assassin's Creed series is a big hit among the unwashed masses, but there are far more viable cameo options out there.
Personally, I had my fingers crossed for Mega Man. Thanks to the upcoming Street Fighter X Tekken Namco Bandai and Capcom are on pretty good terms of late, and it's not like the Blue Bomber has anything else going on, right?