While this is a shame, we are hoping the affected employees will be successfully shuffled to other projects in production.
It’s only been a little over five months since Embracer Group purchased several studios from Square Enix, including Square Enix Montreal, the studio behind hits like Hitman Go and Lara Croft Go. The studio had since rebranded to Onoma as of last month. However, things have taken a turn for the worse.
CDE Entertainment, the group Embracer created to handle the Square Enix properties, has announced today that Onoma has been closed, and the focus will instead shift entirely to Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montreal. While studio closures are never good, Onoma was a mobile-based studio, and despite the draw of Hitman Go and the like, it makes sense that it would be less lucrative than something created by those other two developers.
While this closure is said to affect around 200 people, “CDE has said it will look to match some of them with open positions within PC and console projects at the remainder of the company.” Considering the talent seen in the games Onoma created, it can only be a good thing to have those same developers making the next Tomb Raider or the next Deus Ex title.
CDE Entertainment director Phil Rogers had this to say:
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.
This shouldn’t affect your ability to buy any of the Go games, as Hitman Go on Steam seems to be unaffected. We will keep you up to date on any further news coming from this.