Source: Gaming blog Kotaku's Australian arm.
What we heard: At last year's Game Developers Conference, Bungie's writer/design director Joseph Staten offered a teasing bit of intel on the studio's first post-Halo title.
"I think it's a shame that we spent so much time working on this world called Halo and then we only let people spend six or eight or 10 hours in it," Staten said. "Wouldn't it be great if we could make a world that was always there for you, with lots of stories to tell, like a big, infinite storytelling horizon? Man, that would be great."
Now, a source speaking with Kotaku Australia says Bungie is currently crafting a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter titled Destiny. The source is reportedly one of about 30 contractors recently reportedly let go without justification from the project.
According to the source, Destiny--which is codenamed Tiger in development--will run on an entirely new game engine and will sport "unique online connectivity and matchmaking technology." The source said Bungie's MMOG will be "WoW in space."
Currently, all that is officially known is that Bungie is creating an all-new multiplatform universe as part of its 10-year publishing deal with megapublisher Activision.
The official word: As of press time, Activision has not responded to GameSpot's request for comment or clarification on the matter. However, Bungie did address the termination aspect of the source's story by bluntly refuting it.
"Bungie has never been asked to lay off any employees or contract employees by our publisher, Activision Blizzard, for any reason," reads the statement. "The talented professionals who grace our offices day in and day out are the lifeblood of Bungie--our most cherished commodity--and the unsubstantiated rumors posted today are in direct opposition to the culture and values that we believe make Bungie an exceptional place to work and to call home."
Bogus or not bogus?: Bungie's statement at the GDC certainly contains language emblematic of the massively multiplayer online genre. Moreover, Bungie is an established first-person shooter developer, so if the studio were to create an MMOG, a first-person shooter style would seem a likely fit.