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Embracer Group shuts down former Square Enix Montréal studio

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Embracer Group is closing its down Square Enix Montréal studio – which it purchased as part of a $300m USD deal with Square Enix back in May – just weeks after rebranding it Studio Onoma.

In its Square Enix Montréal guise, Onama was a predominantly mobile-focused developer, perhaps best known for its Go series of puzzles games. It was working on Tomb Raider Reloaded, Avatar Generations, and a new Space Invaders game when it was acquired by Embracer Group alongside Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal in May.

As reported by Bloomberg, however, Embracer Group today informed staff it will be closing the studio in a move the company says will affect around 200 employees. Bloomberg’s sources claim some members of the Onama team will be transferred to Eidos-Montréal, although it’s unclear how many employees will be left without jobs following today’s news.

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Onama’s closure is said to be driven by Embracer Group’s decision to pivot away from mobile titles exclusively toward PC and consoles, as well as a larger cost-cutting initiative within the company. The latter has reportedly also resulted in the cancellataion of a new Eidos-Montréal project, described as a Stranger-Things-inspired “kids on bikes” game in a tweet from Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier.

A second unannounced IP in development at the studio is said to have been reduced in scope, while a new entry in the Deus Ex series is reportedly in the “very, very early” stages. Additionally, Bloomberg says Eidos-Montréal will be partnering with Microsoft to help develop a number of titles, including Playground Games’ Fable reboot, which hasn’t been seen since its announcement in 2020.

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