The profile of Dave Mongan on LinkedIn found references to “surprise unannounced AAA title with the open world.” They hurried to remove this small leak so that the Internet remembers everything.
Dave is the Narrative Director of Xbox Game Studios Publishing. The division works with third-party Microsoft partners on PC and Xbox exclusives. Who this mysterious partner is, of course, is unknown. Now Dave only lists “amazing unannounced AAA titles” – no specifics.
Prior to Microsoft, Mongan was Bungie’s Senior Narrative Director working on Destiny.
It seems that Microsoft doesn’t really need to buy a studio right away to make exclusives – partner agreements are also important.