Onoma, formerly Square Enix Montreal, has been shut down by Embracer Group after being rebranded less than a month ago
The decision has been made so that Embracer can focus on their “flagship studios, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal.'
Square Enix Montreal, recently rebranded as Onoma, is being shut down by parent company Embracer Group. Onoma was bought by Embracer Group in May and the studio went through a rebranding on October 10. The decision to shut down the makers of Hitman Go and Tomb Raider Reloaded is a surprising move, to say the least. The Canada-based video game studio was best known for its Go series based on popular franchises such as Hitman, Deus Ex, and Tomb Raider. Embracer Group informed employees on Tuesday that some of the staff would be relocated to a sister studio, Eidos Montreal, as revealed to Bloomberg by sources.
Embracer Group is establishing itself as a major player in the gaming industry as they completed several big acquisitions which includes studios like Eidos Montreal, Crystal Dynamics and several IPs including Deus Ex and Tomb Raider. Apart from that, Embracer Group also bought the rights to the Lord of the Rings IP. If that’s not an impressive enough portfolio already, they also bought Dark Horse Media, who have published comics such as the Umbrella Academy, Sin City, 300, and Hellboy.
As per Bloomberg, the decision by Embracer Group is part of their larger cost-cutting initiative. Embracer Group has recently reduced the scope of one of their unannounced projects. They will also be cancelling a project, as per the report. Speaking of upcoming projects, there is reportedly a plan to develop games with Microsoft. The projects will be led by Playground Games and one of these games will be from the Fable franchise.
Embracer Group to focus on their "flagship studios"
Speaking about the decision to shut Onoma, CDE director Phil Rogers said (via Gamesindustry.biz), “With the opportunity to form the 12th operative group within Embracer we have massive ambitions across Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal.”
"We see the growth opportunities centered around our premier franchises and AAA games. Closing publishing QA and our Onoma studio is a difficult decision and one that we've taken with great care and consideration. We greatly thank all those team members for their contributions over the years and hope to find proper placements for as many as possible," added Phil Rogers.
Rogers also said that the decision has been made so that Embracer can focus on “future production capacities” of their “flagship studios, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal."