Bungie's follow-up to the Halo series is a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter, according to a source claiming to have knowledge of the game's development. That sci-fi shooter is currently named Destiny, he says, Bungie's original post-Halo franchise.
That source also claims to be a recently terminated contractor, part of a group of an estimated 30 non-salaried employees let go from Bungie. It's not uncommon for contract and temp employees to be let go after a project completion on the scale of Halo: Reach, but that source cited claims of "budgetary concerns" and alleges unfair treatment.
Update: Bungie responds to contract termination claims on its official site: "The claim is false. Bungie has never been asked to lay off any employees or contract employees by our publisher, Activision-Blizzard, for any reason. The talented professionals who grace our offices day in and day out are the lifeblood of Bungie – our most cherished commodity – and the unsubstantiated rumors posted today are in direct opposition to the culture and values that we believe make Bungie an exceptional place to work, and to call home."
The ex-Bungie employee says that Destiny, codenamed "Tiger," will run on a new Bungie-developed graphics engine and feature unique online connectivity and matchmaking technology. It was also bluntly likened to "WoW in space."
Bungie creative director Joseph Staten hinted at last year's Game Developers Conference Online that the independent studio might be building an online persistent world. Bemoaning that Halo players spent mere hours in the developer's games, Staten wondered aloud "Wouldn't it be great if we could make a world that was always there for you?"
The creators of Halo and Marathon are currently working on a multi-platform project for Activision Blizzard, part of a ten year publishing agreement.
Kotaku has contacted Bungie and Activision Publishing representatives seeking comment and clarification and will update with any response.