This is a screenshot from a trailer that Halo developers Bungie released yesterday for the upcoming Halo 3 Campaign Experience. As you can see, it says “Maddie, where are you?”. Many have taken it to be a reference to Madeline McCann, the 5-year-old whose disappearance dominated British tabloid media for the entirety of last year.
The image flashes past very quickly, only appearing for three frames, but fans poring over the video to find new nuggets of info about the game quickly found it and posted it up. Bungie have responded.
“This is an unfortunate coincidence but there is no connection between Bungie’s game and the tragic disappearance of that little girl. 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. That said, this is both an unfortunate and unintended coincidence.”
It’s likely that no-one spotted the coincidence due to Bungie being located in Washington, in the US. The story, although impossible to escape in Europe, didn’t make it across the Atlantic.