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Embracer shuts down "new" studio Onoma, formerly Square Enix Montreal

The closure of Onoma is reportedly part of a larger effort by Embracer to cut costs across the larger company.

Justin Carter

November 1, 2022

2 Min Read
Logo for game developer Onoma.

Nearly a full month after rebranding, developer Onoma (formerly known as Square Enix Montreal), has been shut down. Per a report from Bloomberg, parent company Embracer made the call to shut down the studio to focus solely on the console and PC player demographics.

Onoma's name change was brought about as a desire to distance itself from the Square Enix name and "connect with multiple audiences." 

At Square Enix, the studio created Hitman Go, a mobile spinoff for IO Interactive's Hitman franchise. Following that release, the studio made similar spinoffs for Tomb Raider and Deus Ex

According to Bloomberg's sources, some now ex-Onoma staff will be transferred to Eidos Montreal (which Embracer purchased with Onoma and Crystal Dynamics). 

Bloomberg further reported that Eidos scaled back its scope for one in-development project and completely canceled another. The studio will also work with Microsoft to help develop multiple games, including Playground Games' Fable.

Eidos' alleged status as a co-developer puts it in a similar place as Crystal Dynamics. In 2021, the Tomb Raider creator was revealed to be co-developing Microsoft's Perfect Dark reboot alongside its first-party studio The Initiative. 

Embracer is embracing the other part that comes with acquisitions

Bloomberg's report states that closing Onoma and the handling of Eidos is part of Embracer's larger efforts to cut costs across the company. 

In 2022 alone, the Swedish company has spent a lot of money to acquire developers and publishers such as Koch Media. Koch previously owned Saints Row and Dead Island publisher Deep Silver, and has since rebranded itself to Plaion

Across the many companies it's acquired, Embracer's presence is making itself known. In August, it was reported that the remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic had switched hands from Aspyr to Saber Interactive, both of which are Embracer subsidiaries. 

Aspyr was taken off the project after its vertical slice reportedly didn't meet expectations, and it resulted in the firing of its art and design directors. At the time, Embracer said the developer switch would "ensure the quality bar is where we need it to be for the title."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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