Halo 4 is not in development, a senior Bungie employee has revealed.

Speaking in an interview with Pro-G at the launch of Halo 3, which promises to be one of the biggest selling games of all time, Lee Wilson, cinematic designer and Joe Tung, multiplayer producer, said the team was interested in exploring new games.

Wilson said: "There's a lot of people who have been working on Halo much longer than us two have and they're really interested in exploring new games, new stories, and whatever comes out of those conversations is what we're going to pursue. We're still going to make games for us."

It seems inevitable that Microsoft would want a fourth Halo FPS given how lucrative the franchise is for the publisher. Microsoft hopes day one sales will top £70m, more than the opening takings of any movie in history. The game is crucial to the success of the Xbox project, which is yet to see profit. The publisher hopes Halo 3, which achieved more than a million pre-orders prior to release, will finally drag the game division into the black.

However, Bungie has said previously that Halo 3 brings to a close the current story arc, fuelling speculation among some gamers that we may have seen the last of the Master Chief.

When quizzed on the subject last night, Joe Tung, multiplayer producer at Bungie Studios, said that the team was "figuring out right now what we're working on next".

He added: "We really don't know what that is yet but as soon as we know, everyone else will know. Halo 4 is not in development."

For the full interview with Joe and Lee, check the site later today. For Bungie's reaction to criticism of Halo 3's visuals check out our news found elsewhere on the site.