Deus Ex Go will become unplayable in January, even if you bought it

This is yet another blow to game preservation

Fan-favourite mobile game Deus Ex Go will no longer be playable as of January 4th, 2023, developer Onoma has confirmed.

The announcement was made by publisher Embracer via the official Twitter account for the now-defunct studio, formerly known as Square Enix Montreal.

Released in 2016, Deus Ex Go — alongside 2014’s Hitman Go and 2015’s Lara Croft Go — was a well-received puzzle mobile take on the iconic sci-fi series. Additionally, three other Onoma games will become inaccessible on January 4th: Hitman Sniper: The Shadows, the team’s final game, as well as Arena Battle Champions and Space Invaders: Hidden Heroes.

All four games will also be removed from the App Store and Google Play Store on December 1st. Embracer also says to use any in-app purchases you’ve made before January 4th, as they won’t be refunded.

Often, single-player games that are removed from digital storefronts will at least remain playable if they’re downloaded before the shutdown. It’s unclear why Embracer is opting to make the four Onoma titles completely unavailable, but it’s unfortunately another reminder that you don’t truly “own” digital games, as well as another example of the gaming industry’s preservation issues.

Overall, Onoma was dealt a rough hand. When Embracer acquired the Canadian team as part of a larger purchase of Square Enix studios, it soon rebranded — “Onoma” being Greek for “name” — as a first step to forge a new identity. However, Embracer shuttered the studio a mere three weeks later, shocking everyone. When celebrating its 10th anniversary last year, Square Enix Montreal was looking ahead to both Hitman Sniper and a mysterious AR-based Space Invaders game.

Per Bloomberg, some Onoma employees have been shifted over to sister Embracer team Eidos Montreal, the developer of last year’s acclaimed Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. However, it’s unclear how many of the roughly 200 Onoma employees have been laid off.

Embracer, meanwhile, has been on an acquisition spree, most notably buying the IP rights to none other than J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings earlier this year.

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