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Square Enix Montreal rebrands as Onoma

The new name follows the sale of the company to Embracer Group
Square Enix Montreal rebrands as Onoma

Square Enix Montreal has rebranded as Onoma following its acquisition by Swedish conglomerate Embracer Group earlier this year.

"Our strength has always been our ability to evolve and adapt to trends and market changes. Our rebrand as Studio Onoma is one more transformation that we are excited to take on," said the studio in a statement. "We have built the Onoma brand to be flexible to see us into the future, connect with multiple audiences, and not hinder us from expanding with the market."

Following the acquisition by Embracer Group, a rebrand was perhaps inevitable. Square Enix is unlikely to want an unrelated studio using its name, whereas Embracer Group may be unhappy with the prospect of another company profiting from its future releases.

Nintendo’s stock price rose sharply following the announcement of Pokémon Go, for example, despite the fact that it had no part to play in the development of the game. By rebranding, the company can avoid such confusion. It should be noted that the company’s next game, Avatar Generations, is based on the popular The Last Airbender franchise, and its success could see a fresh influx of investment – something Embracer Group could be hoping to capitalise on.

What’s in a name?

The name Onoma – which means “Name” in Greek – was chosen because “names offer endless possibilities.”

The studio hopes that the new brand identity “will serve as an umbrella to multiple products, programs, and initiatives, each with distinct personalities.”

Eagle-eyed readers may find the name Onoma familiar, however. We wrote in August that Square Enix themselves had applied to the Canadian Trademark Database to launch a new North American Studio named Studio Onoma. As this application was filed shortly before the acquisition was finalised, and both Onoma CFO Patrice Baig and Embracer 12th Operating Unit CEO Phil Rogers were involved in the original claim, it appears earlier assumptions about this being an entirely new studio were incorrect.

In August, we identified Embracer Group as one of the top 50 game makers of 2022.