Square Enix Montreal is now called Studio Onoma



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Elongated letters and a colorful palette herald the rebrand of the studio formerly known as Square Enix Montréal, now Studio Onoma. The studio has rebranded, a name change necessitated because it is no longer owned by Square Enix.

The studio was behind innovative mobile-PC crossovers like the Hitman, Lara Croft, and Deus Ex GO games, brilliant minimalist puzzles that worked both as part of their own franchise and within the broader brand they were made from. Studio Onoma has since worked on the Hitman Sniper spinoff series.

Onoma is currently working on two mobile-first games: Tomb Raider Reloaded (opens in new tab) and Avatar Generations (opens in new tab), based on Avatar: The Last Airbender.

A lot of stir went up when Embracer Group, the fast-growing Swedish games holding company, purchased all of Square Enix’s Western studios at the end of August (opens in new tab) for a cool $300 million. That included Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal. Those three companies constitute the Eidos Interactive Corporation, its own group of companies descended from the Eidos Interactive, a popular publisher in the late 90s and early 2000s most famous for originating the Tomb Raider series.

The studio apparently started the rebranding about five months ago, in May. The announcement (opens in new tab) on Studio Onoma’s website is actually quite interesting if you’re the kind of dork who, like me, finds the inner working of complex institutional processes like branding and graphic design fascinating. 

The news post goes into details about how the team wanted a brand that wouldn’t alienate any segment of gamers, and that could survive future changes in ownership or direction without needing further change. They created a custom font for the Onoma logo, and the elongated O in the center is intended as a standalone symbol which can be used across many pieces of advertising and kinds of products.

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