Embracer closes Square Enix Montréal just two months after buying it

"[It was] a difficult decision and one that we've taken with great care and consideration"

Embracer is reportedly closing down Square Enix Montréal just two months after purchasing the company.

Embracer Group took over numerous Square Enix studios as part of a $300million (£261m) deal this summer. It landed Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal and Square Enix Montréal in one go, giving it access to such titles as Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy Of Kain and Tomb Raider.

Now, according to Bloomberg, Square Enix Montréal is being shut down. The studio had recently renamed itself as Onoma following the acquisition.

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Bloomberg‘s Jason Schreier claimed that Embracer “informed staff at a 2pm ET meeting [yesterday, November 1] that Onoma is shutting down as the company pivots to focus only on PC and console”.

Phil Rogers, director of Embracer’s business group CDE Entertainment, said in a statement (via Games Industry.biz): “We see the growth opportunities centred 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.”

Sources at Bloomberg suggested that some staff members from Onoma would be transferred to Eidos-Montréal following the news, where a new Deus Ex title is said to be in “very early” development.

Additionally, Embracer has also acquired the Lord Of The Rings adaptation rights, as well as developers Tripwire Interactive (Killing Floor), Tuxedo Labs (Teardown), and Limited Run Games.

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Square Enix Montréal and Eidos-Montréal were formally acquired by Embracer Group back in August, and announced in September that it was now the owner of Deux Ex.

“As we’ve left Square Enix Ltd and joined the Embracer Group, we are starting an exciting new chapter in Eidos-Montréal’s history,” the company said in a statement.

“To put things simply, the big change is that Eidos-Montréal (or its affiliates) is now the owner of the games it developed, like the Deus Ex and Thief games, and the controller of the data obtained from the various gameplay metrics tracked in its titles.”

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