In August, the omnivorous holding company known as Embracer Group snapped up several Square Enix studios as part of a $300 million deal. It devoured Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal in a single bite, giving it access to the Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain, and Tomb Raider IPs. Just two months after the acquisition was finalized, Square Enix Montréal is shutting down, Bloomberg (opens in a new tab) reports
The studio responsible for Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go, and Deus Ex Go only recently renamed itself Onoma in anticipation of the acquisition. It was a five-month process that you can read about in the studio’s “brand story (opens in a new tab)“if that sounds like the kind of thing you’re interested in.
Although the Go series has been well-loved, and we gave Hitman Go: Definitive Edition a respectable score of 72 in our review, the studio’s focus on mobile has seen it abandon premium games in favor of free-to-play with its recent releases Hitman Sniper. : The Shadows , Tomb Raider Reloaded , and Avatar Generations (as in Avatar: The Last Airbender , not the James Cameron movies). According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Embracer “informed staff at a 2pm ET meeting today that Onoma is closing as the company pivots to focus solely on PC and console”.
In a statement to Games Industry.biz (opens in a new tab)Phil Rogers, director of the business group of Embracer CDE Entertainment, said that, “We see the growth opportunities centered around our top franchises and AAA games. Closing publishing QA and our Onoma studio is a difficult decision and one that we took with great care. and consideration. We are very grateful to all of those team members for their contributions over the years and hope to find suitable placements for as many as possible.”
Bloomberg’s sources suggested that some of Onoma’s staff would be transferred to Eidos-Montréal after the closure, where a new Deus Ex is reported to be in “very early” development.
Embracer’s other recent acquisitions included the Lord of the Rings adaptation rights, Killing Floor developer Tripwire Interactive, Teardown developer Tuxedo Labs, and Limited Run Games, which publishes deluxe physical editions of indie games.