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Sumo Group snaps up US studio Pipeworks

Date Type Companies involved Size
September 30th, 2020 acquisition Pipeworks
Sumo Digital
Not disclosed
Sumo Group snaps up US studio Pipeworks

UK games firm Sumo is buying US-based developer Pipeworks Inc.

The Oregon studio was founded back in 1999 and has done work-for-hire development for clients including Electronic Arts, Wizards of the Coast and Google. This is all on top of the work that Pipeworks has done in the AI and real-time simulation sectors.

Sumo is paying $99.5m for Pipeworks, with a $59.5m initial consideration. In this acquisition, Sumo is adding 134 staff to its headcount in addition to the Prominence Poker IP.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be joining Sumo Group. Our ambition is to be the best and most innovative game developer in North America and this will be a ‘level-up’ for all of us at Pipeworks," the studio's CEO Lindsay Gupton said.

"I’ve known Carl and the team at Sumo for a long time and have the greatest respect for them as a company, as game developers, and most importantly, as people. The cultural fit between Pipeworks and Sumo is remarkable, and we all love to make great games with great partners. I can’t wait for this next big chapter in the long history of Pipeworks Studios."

Sumo Group CEO Carl Cavers (pictured) added: “This is a major step forward for our business. Having known Lindsay for some time and been a keen follower of Pipeworks, I am naturally delighted to welcome Lindsay and his team to Sumo Group and look forward to working together and sharing an exciting future. Sumo Group is thriving. This is the largest acquisition Sumo Group has made since IPO. Our underlying market is strong, and we see good opportunities for new games, including Original-IP developed by our talented studios. I would like to thank our team, once again, for their great work, which continues to drive the Group’s success."

At the end of 2017, Sumo went public with a $194m valuation. Since then, the company has bought a number of developers, including Dear Esther maker The Chinese Room, CCP's VR-focused Newcastle studio as well as fellow work-for-hire company Red Kite Games and Lab42.

In November 2019, Chinese tech and entertainment giant Tencent snapped up a 10 per cent stake in the company.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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