Embracer Group has decided to shut down mobile studio Onoma, just weeks after its rebranding. The Swedish holding company said it will allow Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal to focus on PC and console game development.
Why did Embracer decide to close Onoma?
- Bloomberg first reported the news on November 1, citing sources familiar with the matter. CDE Entertainment, a new operative group that Embracer formed after acquiring Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal from Square Enix earlier this year, closed its publishing QA team and mobile developer Onoma.
- The Swedish holding company later confirmed the information, saying that the closures will impact around 200 people. Some of them will be transferred to Eidos Montreal.
- According to CDE Entertainment, this decision will help it focus “its future production capacities on its flagship studios, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.”2
- Known for developing games like Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO, Onoma was primarily a mobile studio. And CDE wants to focus on making titles for PC and consoles.
- The weird thing is that the shutdown happened just weeks after Onoma announced its rebranding. Formerly known as Square Enix Montreal, the studio had ambitious plans, saying that its new identity would be an “umbrella to multiple products, programs, and initiatives, each with distinct personalities.”
- Bloomberg also noted that the closure of the QA team and Onoma might be part of a “larger cost-cutting initiative.” Eidos has reportedly reduced the scope of an unannounced project and will cancel another game.
What is next for Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics?
With the acquisition of Eidos and Crystal Dynamics, Embracer Group received the rights to the Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, Thief, and Legacy of Kain franchises. The deal also included a back catalog of more than 50 titles.
According to Jason Schreier, Eidos Montreal is now working on an unannounced game based on a brand new IP. The studio also has a new Deus Ex in the works, but it is at the very early stages of development.
On top of that, CDE Entertainment plans to work on new titles in partnership with Xbox, including a new Fable game led by Playground Games.