Sumo Group plc (LON:SUMO), the provider of award-winning creative and development services to the video games and entertainment industries, has announced the acquisition of Auroch Digital, a Bristol-based videogame developer and publisher with a focus on original IP creation. The Acquisition strengthens the Group’s publishing capabilities, adds a further 48 talented people to the business and provides access to another key talent hot-spot.
Background and rationale
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.
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.
Initial consideration of £6.0m has been paid in cash from the Group’s existing resources. Deferred consideration may be payable in cash, contingent upon financial performance in the year ending 31 March 2024.
Carl Cavers, CEO of Sumo Group, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Tomas and the Auroch Digital team to the Group. 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.”
Dr Tomas Rawlings, Founder and Studio Director of Auroch Digital, added: ” 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.”