A few months ago. one of the shocking studio acquisition stories came from Square Enix’s side. The Japanese developer and publisher announced that Europe’s Embracer purchased off their entirety of European studios. This purchase included Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider, Legacy of Kain), Square Enix Montréal and others.
With the purchase successful, it seems studio transitions have slowly begun. Square Enix Montréal officially announced its rebranding in October. Ditching the name borrowed from the Japanese publishers, they transitioned to Onoma. Unfortunately, in a surprising twist of fate, it seems the parent company had other plans for Onoma.
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In a report by Jason Schreier for Bloomberg, a representative of Embracer confirmed the closer of Onoma. With the shutting down, 200 employees in Onoma would get impacted. As per the report, the move appears to be a part of a large cost-cutting initiative. CDE director Phil Rogers spoke with GamesIndustry about the studio shutdown:
“CDE Entertainment, the Embracer group which houses the assets it acquired from Square Enix, has confirmed that some 200 jobs will be affected by the closure of its publishing QA team and Studio Onoma.”
“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 centred 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.”
Studio Onoma, formerly known as Square Enix Montreal, worked on titles such as Deus Ex Go, Lara Croft Go, Hitman Go and many more. The studio primarily focused on turn-based spin-offs for the existing franchises from Eidos.