Embracer to close Square Enix Montreal weeks after Onoma rebranding


Embracer Group is closing Onoma, the studio formerly known as Square Enix Montreal, according to a Bloomberg report. Some staff will be transferred to nearby Eidos Montreal, it says.

A seperate gamesindustry.biz report states that 200 people will be affected by the closure, which includes a QA team. The GI report also has word from CDE Entertainment, the Embracer-owned entity that acquired Square-Enix’s assets earlier this year:

“With the opportunity to form the 12th operative group within Embracer we have massive ambitions across Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal,” said CDE director Phil Rogers.

“We see the growth opportunities centered 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.”

Square Enix Montreal was bought in May as part of a deal that saw Embracer snap up Square-Enix’s western studios. And there wasn’t a great deal of enthusiasm around mobile right from the start – in an investor call following the announcement, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors said:

“I’m excited about the opportunity but also I think we need to be realistic. Mobile is not easy. And so I think we are looking into this deeply, how we could build on our strengths and work with the team to create success.”

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