A representative for Bungie has said that 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 online yesterday, and fans combing the short promo for information came across the line "Maddie, where are you?" - prompting speculation that it was a reference to McCann, who's disappearance in 2007 prompted 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 and PR director 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."