Embracer Group is hitting both gamers and its developers with a one-two punch today with the announcement that it is shutting down Onoma.
According to Bloomberg, the recently renamed studio Onoma’s staff were informed of the shutdown during a meeting Tuesday. The closure will reportedly affect about 200 employees. Some of the employees were reportedly offered roles at its sister company, Eidos Montréal, which Embracer also bought from Square Enix. Bloomberg also reported that Eidos Montréal is working on a new Deus Ex game that is “very, very early” in development and co-developing a new Fable game alongside Microsoft-owned development studio Playground Games, alongside an entirely new IP.
Embracer Group reportedly decided to close down Onoma, a studio it bought just this May, to scale back the scope and cost of making games. This news comes after the video game publisher renamed the studio, formerly known as Square Enix Montréal, just last month.
The Canadian developer was known for mobile games like Deus Ex Go, Hitman Go, and Tomb Raider Go, and had an iOS and Android game for Avatar: The Last Airbender in development. According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, one of the canceled projects Onoma was working on was a Stranger Things-inspired biking game.
Embracer is a Swedish gaming company that owns other studios, including Gearbox Interactive and THQ Nordic, among others.
Back when Embracer first bought Onoma from Square Enix, the publisher announced it would focus on making sequels, remakes, remasters, and spin-offs of older games like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain. It also announced it would make “transmedia projects” like the upcoming Tomb Raider anime series on Netflix.
“We see the growth opportunities centered around our premier franchises and AAA games,” Phil Rogers, the director of Embracer-owned CDE Entertainment, told GameIndustry.biz. “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.”