Sumo, Sheffield gaming firm, buys Auroch Digital

Sheffield-based video gaming firm Sumo Group plc has announced the acquisition of Auroch Digital, a Bristol-based videogame developer and publisher with a focus on original IP creation.

Initial consideration of £6 million has been paid in cash and deferred consideration may be payable in cash, contingent upon financial performance in the year ending March 31, 2024.

Sumo Group recently agreed to a £919 million cash takeover offer from a subsidiary of China’s Tencent.

“Founded by Tomas and Debbie Rawlings in 2010, Auroch Digital has a pipeline of original IP and a track record for developing innovative, high-quality titles, including Mars Horizon, the strategy management game launched on Steam, Switch, Xbox, and PS4 in November 2020,” said Sumo Group.

The acquisition follows the launch of Secret Mode, the group’s new publishing division, in March 2021.

“Auroch Digital extends the group’s publishing capability and adds a complementary development team to support Secret Mode.

“Whilst two of Auroch Digital’s live development projects already have publishing partners in place, several forecast titles require a publishing partner and have received interest from third parties.

“This presents further opportunities for Secret Mode.

Bristol is a key strategic location for Sumo Group and, as well as bringing more talent to the group, the acquisition creates access to the growing talent pool in the South-West of England and parts of South Wales and takes the number of group studios to 15.

Tomas will continue to lead the business, which will trade as Auroch Digital Limited, post acquisition.”

Sumo Group CEO Carl Cavers said: Given our increasing focus on Own-IP, we are particularly excited by Auroch Digital’s pipeline of original IP.

“So, while this is a relatively small acquisition, it is a highly significant one for us strategically.”

Tomas Rawlings, founder and studio director of Auroch Digital, said: We’re really excited to be joining the Sumo Group family.

“We share so many values and Sumo will be a good home for us.

“We have a shared desire always to improve the quality and depth of the games we make, a commitment to being a positive and respectful workplace, a desire to invest in new talent, and a shared wish to make a lot of fun, engagement and gameplay for all.

“Auroch Digital joining Sumo Group really is the natural next step in our journey and we’re really excited to be taking it together.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.