Leaks are one of those things that are just inevitable around this time of year. The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or at least the publisher conferences, begin this weekend on June the 10th with the EA Play event. Following them on June 11th is Microsoft. Over the past couple of months we’ve heard four things regarding the Halo franchise:

1) Halo 6 will not be at E3.

2) Halo 3 Anniversary does not exist.

3) There is no Halo title this year.

4) There will be a “little something” Halo related at Microsoft’s E3 press conference.

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Microsoft and 343 Industries made sure to temper fan expectations for the event, but perhaps they weren’t 100% honest. Just today, this little number cropped up:

Looks legit.

343 Industries’ Frank O’Connor, the Franchise Development Director, came out and referred to this “leak” as fake news followed by #MHGA(Make Halo Great Again).

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And that is where I would call this “leak” debunked because the implication, at first glance, would suggest that this isn’t real, it’s an elaborate hoax. To my knowledge however, the rule of thumb, or rather the joke, is that if something is referred to as “fake news” then it’s actually not fake, it’s real. Over the last couple of months I’ve seen many people use that statement as a joke. Whenever they’re accused of something that’s the truth or along those lines, they respond with “fake news” and then laugh. I’m thinking that’s the case here. 343 Industries had a surprise ready for E3 and Microsoft’s conference is in 3 days at the time that I’m writing this. It makes sense for promotional materials for whatever it is they’re teasing to be out there and ready to go. In this case, it comes from European retailer GAME, and as we all know, a lot of leaks come from Europe for whatever reason.

I’m not saying they’re actually lying through a joke to try and keep people guessing, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them joke when denying something. They could be telling the truth and it is indeed fake. Frankie then referenced the elaborate Tom Morello leaks from the Halo: Reach days. This was shortly followed up by the community manager, who typically goes by Ske7ch, saying that it’s a fan-created fake.

So maybe it is fake, but maybe it isn’t and they’re just trying to downplay it for the next three days. Nobody likes having the rug pulled out from under themselves so at least trying to preserve some semblance of mystery by downplaying the leak or outright denying it is the usual tactic. We’ll find out in 3 days if it really is a fake and what 343 actually has in store for fans.

Though I’m gonna be honest, I really want a Halo horror game. The Flood gave me nightmares as a kid and having you play as a marine would intensify the horror since you have no protection against them except a gun.