For a while there, Square Enix Montreal (later rebranded to Onoma) were making some of the best mobile puzzle games of all time. Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go and Deus Ex Go were three of the slickest, most challenging games you could play on your phone, and all have gone down as classics of the genre. Sadly, one of them is about to disappear forever.
Onoma—who were suddenly closed earlier this month—announced earlier today that a number of their games will be “shutting down” in early 2023. Among them are Hitman Sniper: The Shadows, which was only released last year, and Deus Ex Go. The studio’s full statement reads:
Arena Battle Champions, Deus Ex GO, Hitman Sniper: The Shadows and Space Invaders: Hidden Heroes will be shutting down on January 4th.
The games will be removed from the App Store/Google Play Store on December 1st, and current players will not be able to access the games past January 4th.
Effective immediately, in-game purchases are stopped. We encourage prior in-game purchases to be used before January 4th, as they will not be refunded.
On behalf of the development team, we would like to thank you for playing our games.
Note that these aren’t simply disappearing from those two stores, they are disappearing, with the games no longer able to be accessed after January 4, even if you’ve already downloaded them. From a personal perspective—as someone who dusts the Go games off as time-killers every year or two—that sucks. But it’s also a tragedy from a games preservation standpoint.
People made this game, people bought this game and people enjoyed this game, for years, and with the closure of a studio and some rights changing hands it’s now just going to cease existing in an official capacity?
The closures aren’t affecting Lara Croft Go and Hitman Go, at least, both of which are also available on the PC (Deus Ex Go was once available on the Windows Store, but has since been delisted from there as well).