Embracer shuts down former Square Enix Montreal studio Onoma

Hitman Go

The studio formerly known as Square Enix Montreal has reportedly been closed

It looks like Embracer Group is shuttering one of its recent acquisitions. Onoma, formerly known as Square Enix Montreal before its Embracer acquisition, has reportedly been shut down.

A new Bloomberg report says that, according to sources familiar with the situation, the Montreal-based studio will see some staff move to sister-studio Eidos Montreal. Employees were reportedly informed of the move today.

There’s also more to the move. Bloomberg reports that Eidos Montreal has reduced the scope of one unannounced project and will cancel another. The company also plans to work with Microsoft to develop some games, including a Fable title, according to Bloomberg’s info.

In a follow-up on Twitter, Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier says Eidos Montreal canceled a rumored “kids on bikes” game inspired by Stranger Things. According to Schreier, Eidos Montreal is now currently working on a new IP (which was rescoped) and a new Deus Ex game. That’s alongside the aforementioned Xbox collaboration.

Goodbye, GO

In a statement via GamesIndustry.biz, CDE Entertainment—the Embracer-owned business group containing the assets acquired from Square Enix—confirms the move. The group is also closing its publishing QA team. The company says it will try to match some of those affected to open positions within projects at the rest of the company.

“We see the growth opportunities centered around our premier franchises and AAA games,” said CDE director Phil Rogers via GIbiz. “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.”

The move is especially surprising, as Onoma was recently renamed and re-branded following its Embracer acquisition. The massive publisher group picked up Square Enix Montreal, alongside Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics, in one big acquisition. The deal was finalized in August.

Onoma, or Square Enix Montreal, was best known for its GO series, including Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO.

Eric Van Allen