When Bungie said last week that its next project would be a "massively multiplayer action game", it was obviously joking - duh.
More precisely, sending up the recent swirl of rumours. But Bungie speaker and lead network engineer David Aldridge's quip was misinterpreted.
"In rehearsal Aldridge was convinced that everybody got the joke," Bungie wrote on its website. "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 rumours.
"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 result was a reporter at the Bungie Game Developers talk missing the joke and telling the world that Bungie's next game is an MMO.
Bungie posted the presentation slide in question on its website. Titled "What's next for Bungie?" it lists, in bullet-point order, three things: "Bring this architecture to the rest of our multiplayer experiences"; "ease of authoring improvements"; and "if you love massively good online games, and you want to be a part [obscured by topical Charlie Sheen picture] come join us, we're hiring!".
"FYI. The tape will exonerate me, but I'm sorry anyway. :(" wrote Aldridge in an internal email to Bungie, re-posted on the developer's website.
Joke or not, Bungie's clarification post never out-right denies that its next game will be an MMO.
Rumour has it that Bungie is making a first-person MMO for Activision called Destiny. It was loosely defined as "WOW in space".
Before then, Bungie had teased a new world that "was always there", and also referred to it as "a universe that people want to spend time in". Bungie's partnership with Activision is a 10-year multi-platform publishing deal, which fits well with an MMO.