E3 2008: Bungie ditches teaser campaign, reveal

[UPDATE] After Halo maker gates Web site with countdown timer, the developer abruptly cancels, apologizes for errant tease.

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A week ago, Bungie relaunched its long-dormant podcast in style, offering Halo fans more than 90 minutes of analysis as well as a tantalizing teaser about the studio's next project. In a bit of banter to close out the show, show hosts Brian Jarrard and Luke Smith hinted that Bungie had "something going on" July 14, a day that just so happened to coincide with Microsoft's E3 Media & Business Summit press conference.

With rumors of a Ghost Recon-like Halo spin-off swirling the weekend before E3, Monday came and went without any substantive peep out of Bungie. What the developer did do, however, is gate its Web site with a teaser image. The gate flashes a litany of warning messages that range from "Please remain calm" to "Final notice: bill past due" to "Pardon our dust" to "Proceed with caution."

Along with the messages, the page displays a countdown timer, with an end date of Wednesday, July 16 at 7:07 a.m. The time isn't at all an out-of-the-ordinary selection, considering that Bungie has gone out of its way to incorporate the number seven ad nauseam in its popular Xbox 360-exclusive Halo franchise.

[UPDATE] Not a minute after this story was posted, Bungie updated its Web site, saying that it has decided to cancel its plans laid out above.

"For the last several months, we've been building toward a reveal of something exciting that Bungie is working on," said Bungie's Harold Ryan in a statement posted to the developer's site. "We were looking forward to sharing that with our fan community during the week of E3. However, those plans were just changed by our publisher. We realize that many of our fans are disappointed by this turn of events; members of the Bungie team share that disappointment. When the right time comes, we look forward to sharing this exciting announcement with you. Until then, we appreciate your continued support and patience."

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