Don Mattrick has denied that Bungie was angry about Microsoft's decision to pull the developer's new Halo game from the Xbox 360 E3 press conference.
"Sure they're disappointed. Any software creator would be disappointed," Mattrick, boss of the Xbox 360 business, told Eurogamer at E3 for an exclusive interview set to run later this week.
"Harold [Ryan, Bungie president] just laughed and he said, 'Boy, just a sign of growth inside the business, we agree'."
[Editor's note: Since this interview was published, Bungie has contacted Eurogamer to present its side of the story. Ryan has said: "I certainly didn't agree with the decision to delay our news until sometime after E3."]
Last week Ryan wrote on Bungie's website that the team was disappointed by Microsoft's last-minute decision not to unveil the game.
Pressed on the decision to pull the new Halo title from the E3 briefing, Mattrick said: "We didn't feel we needed to show Halo to have a great show, to pay homage to our core audience, to have a lot of news, so it was an embarrassment of riches and we couldn't fit it in. How great is that? I think that's awesome."
Microsoft will host an event "another time of the year that'll go deep on Halo", Mattrick explained.
"So that's what we're going to do and I think we're smart. I had so many people come to me and say 'look at that, that's a measure of growth and maturity of Microsoft - the fact that you have the best show, the best collection of products and you didn't even have to show Halo'."
Mattrick wouldn't be drawn on the contents of the game itself, but said there's "an ongoing work-stream with Bungie and others" on "all kinds of new things in development".
"It's awesome, it's highly anticipated, it's friggin' Halo! People love it, right? I can't say a lot about it.
"We're going to create an opportunity where people can interact with it, we think it's going to be super high quality, super fun, super innovative; it's the easiest thing for us to message, so stay tuned. There's lots of good news on that."
Look out for our full Don Mattrick interview tomorrow.