Swedish holding company The Embracer Group has shut down one of the three studios it purchased earlier this year from Japanese publisher Square Enix, according to a new report. Hitman: Go developer Onoma, formerly known as Square Enix Montreal, is set to close, with some of its 150 employees shifting to work at Eidos Montreal.
In May, Embracer announced the acquisition of the three studios, which included Tomb Raider and Marvel’s Avengers developer Crystal Dynamics, Deus Ex and Thief developer Eidos Montreal, and developer Square Enix Montreal, which had been responsible for the Lara Croft GO and Hitman GO games for mobile devices. Square Enix Montreal was rebranded as Onoma in October.
In June, Embracer received a $1 billion USD investment from a subdivision of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund called the Savvy Gaming Group, giving the group an 8.1% stake in Embracer’s operations.
Bloomberg reports that Embracer told employees November 1 that some of them would be able to transfer to “sister studio” Eidos Montreal. However, it’s unclear how many will be eligible for the move, and how many of the roughly 150 employees and 50 QA testers will be laid off.
According to the Bloomberg sources, the closure of Onoma is part of a “larger cost-cutting initiative” across the company, with Eidos Montreal set to “scale back” on one unannounced project and cancel another.
At the time it acquired the three studios, Embracer said it saw “great potential” in the intellectual property those studios held.