The lights are on
UPDATE: Ensuring at least another few months of annoying and tedious speculation and fake rumors, Bungie has stepped back from the comments made by David Aldridge at GDC. According to a post on Bungie's website, Aldridge was making a joke during his presentation that was misinterpreted by some journalists in the audience. HILARIOUS ZINGER, DUDE. Of course, Bungie does not exactly deny that they're making an MMO in the blog post -- they just won't confirm it yet. Thanks to Auston for the tip.
ORIGINAL STORY: After dropping hints at GDC Online and some strong rumors last month, Bungie has finally confirmed that its next game is a massively multiplayer action game.
The news comes from a Game Developers Conference panel hosted by Bungie lead network engineer David Aldridge. Aldridge also countered claims last month that supposedly originated from an anonymous ex-contractor who had worked with Bungie. This source said that the Bungie MMO was essentially "World of Warcraft in space." Aldridge said that is not the case, although he didn't provide any further details.
This mystery project will be Bungie's first under a new publishing deal with Activision, as well as its first after leaving the successful Halo franchise in the hands of Microsoft. If anyone can take the concept of an action-based MMO for consoles and make it finally work, Bungie very well could be the team.
If you want to hear us debating about the idea of a Bungie MMO back when it was still just a rumor, check out the latest episode of GI's MMO podcast, Respec Radio. While listening, leave a comment on this story letting us know if you're excited about the idea of a Bungie moving on to this new genre.
[via IGN, thanks to Mike for the tip]