One of the biggest game studios has closed its doors

One of the biggest game studios has closed its doors

Formerly known as Square Enix Montreal, Onoma is being shut down after being acquired by The Embracer Group.

By Jason Collins | Posted

Embracer Group, a Swedish video game and media company, is apparently shutting down Onoma just months after its acquisition. Onoma, formerly known as Square Enix Montreal, was already acquired along with all of Square Enix’s former Western holdings in August of this year. The studio later changed its name to Onoma, but it looks like Embracer has other plans for the studio.

According to IGN, the move is likely a cost-cutting measure, and the company informed employees that some staff would be moving to a sister studio, Eidos Montreal, which was acquired alongside Onoma, and San Francisco-based Crystal Dynamics. Prior to their acquisition, the trio were known for releasing some of the best hits in gaming history, including franchises that were completely unknown to younger generations of gamers, but hold fond memories for the older gamer population.

Onoma’s stoppage is somewhat unusual due to its timing. The company has already announced its rebranding and a brand new game in development, which is now canceled or moved to Eidos Montreal with some Onoma employees. The studio was best known for its work on the popular Gomobile series of games, which included Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go, and Deus Ex Go – which were originally developed by Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics, and Eidos Interactive, respectively, for other gaming platforms.

Of Lara Croft go

Moreover, the cost reduction measures are not limited only to the reported shutdown of Onoma. Eidos Montreal would reduce the scope of one of its projects in development and cancel another entirely while helping Microsoft develop a slice in the famous Fable franchise. Will this be part of the gaming giant’s plan to revolutionize the gaming industry? We don’t know, but it looks like a similar fate has befallen Crystal Dynamics.

The latter is known to develop Lara Croft and Kain’s Legacy series, the latest of which is made in collaboration with Amy Hennig, one of gaming’s foremost writers — she’s currently working with Marvel on their recently announced game. In fact, it looks like Embracer has big plans for Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics, primarily focusing on growth opportunities centered around their respective franchises and AAA games. In fact, Crystal Dynamics recently teased a Kain’s Legacy with a game revival survey — we strongly encourage you to complete the survey.

In addition to the aforementioned Onoma closure, Embracer has also shut down its publishing QA division, and the whole move has affected over 200 people or so – only some of whom will be moving to Eidos Montreal on PC and console projects. It looks like Embracer has no plans to take on the mobile market, at least not with Onoma’s offering, which is admittedly lacking compared to other mobile releases in today’s mobile gaming market.

Embracer Group’s acquisition of the aforementioned studios has revealed some interesting details regarding Square Enix’s business. It is still unclear why the company sold grave robber, a franchise with over 88 million lifetime sales, for peanuts, but it seems eager to get rid of some of its IPs and get a cash boost in the process.

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