Remember that time when Bungie lead network engineer David Aldridge told everyone that the former Halo developer was working on a space-based “massively multiplayer action game” at the 2011 Game Developer’s Conference last week? Well it turns out that it was all just one great, big joke! Funny, right?! …guys?
After sending the games-reporting media and countless fans into a state of near-hysteria over the long-awaited news of a new game following Bungie’s 2007 departure from former parent company Microsoft, the studio set the record straight in it weekly update. Apparently, Aldridge thought it would be a good idea to yank our collective chain. In fairness though, he never really expected those in attendance to not pick up on the joke. Here is Bungie’s explanation:
Tired of pretending that he’s not a -blam!-in’ rock star from Mars, David Aldridge inhaled a huge hit of David Aldridge at GDC yesterday. Subsequently, his face melted off and children wept over his exploded body. After the childish tears, gelatinous gibs, and acrid smoke cleared, an industrious journalist noticed the final slide from David’s GDC deck which apparently proclaimed that we were hiring for a “massively…multiplayer action game.” Ruh oh.
Now, in rehearsal Aldridge was convinced that everybody got the joke. It was all in the delivery, he assured us, and he was certain it was clear that he was playfully riffing off of the recent rumors. Unfortunately, most people can’t figure David out – they can’t process him. And we don’t expect them to. You can’t process David Aldridge with a normal brain. You’d need tiger blood and Adonis DNA.
The comments are followed up with an apology from Aldridge, who continues to maintain that “the tape will exonerate me,” referring to a recording of his GDC presentation “I Shot You First: Networking the Gameplay of Halo: Reach,” where the “news” was revealed.
While Bungie’s response certainly puts Aldridge’s words to bed, it’s worth noting that the weekly update never flatly denies that work is underway on an MMO of some kind. In fact, in the update’s “Stuff Bungie is Not Doing” section, the only thing mentioned is that the studio isn’t building any Halo: Reach map packs, nor is it working on any engine modifications to the same. So fan those fires of hope… a Bungie MMO may yet still be coming.