Bungie has said the reference to 'Maddie' in the teaser trailer for the studio's next Halo project is an "unfortunate coincidence" to that of missing five year-old Madeleine McCann.
The trailer appeared at the end of a countdown yesterday, and fans combing the short CGI promotion for information came across the line, "Maddie, where are you?"
This prompted plenty of speculation that it was a reference to Madeleine McCann, the child whose 2007 disappearance sparked a worldwide media campaign.
"This is an unfortunate coincidence but there is no connection between Bungie's game and the tragic disappearance of that little girl," wrote Brian Jarrard, community voice at Bungie, on a Halo fansite.
Writing in the official Bungie forums, the studio's Luke Smith has also stated there is no connection between the game and real-world events.
"As always, all of the characters in our games are fictional. Any similarities between real life and the characters in our games are purely coincidental," wrote Smith.
"That said, this is both an unfortunate and unintended coincidence."
Eurogamer has contacted Bungie and Microsoft for comment.