The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has reported that Microsoft’s development studio Bungie has begun recruiting staff for a third Halo game.

The article noticed adverts on the company’s site, including AI engineer, lead character animator and art production manager. Apparently the developers are asking for around sixty extra staff, doubling their size.

Microsoft won’t comment on “rumors or speculation”, though fan site Halo.Bungie.Org has said they’ve had community team members get in touch claiming there’s some truth to the rumor.

The relatively large team-size reflects how things are changing as studios move towards next-generation projects. Barring tremendous surprises, Halo 3 should launch on Microsoft's Xbox 2, expected late 2005.

It’s very unlikely that Microsoft will confirm anything Halo-related until the inevitable official unveiling, but until then, we’ll just have to play the waiting game.