‘Studio Onoma’ could be Square Enix’s new western studio venture

Additional reporting by Tom Ivan.

“Studio Onoma” appears likely to be a new western studio from Japanese Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix.

The studio is the subject of a pending application that appeared on the Canadian Trademarks Database last week.

According to the application, Studio Onoma will primarily design, develop and publish computer and video game software.

It may also produce various goods including strategy guides, toys, games and “playthings, namely action figures, [and] handheld battery-operated games”.

The trademark applicant is listed as Square Enix Newco Limited, a recently established company based in London, UK.

According to Companies House, Square Enix Newco was incorporated on April 19, 2022. The nature of its business is listed as “publishing of computer games.”

Swedish company Embracer announced in May that it had agreed to acquire a large part of Square Enix’s western development arm for $300 million, including Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, Square Enix Montreal, and a catalog of IPs including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and Thief.

At the same time, Square Enix said it would still publish some western games.

“Going forward, the company’s development function will comprise its studios in Japan, Square Enix External Studios, and Square Enix Collective,” it said.

“The company’s overseas studios will continue to publish franchises such as Just Cause, Outriders and Life is Strange.”

Shortly after, Square Enix said it intended to reshape its digital entertainment portfolio partly through creating new IP and “boost[ing] game development capabilities by establishing new studios, M&A, etc.”

The newly uncovered Studio Onoma trademark suggests Square Enix is ​​already planning to establish new western studios while still in the process of selling off its previously owned ones.