Sumo Group sets up second developer in Canada

Sumo Group sets up second developer in Canada

UK-based games firm Sumo Group has opened a new studio in Vancouver, Canada.

Called Timbre Games, this outfit is part of US-based Pipeworks Studios, which Sumo bought last year for $99.5 million in September 2020. This is Sumo's second Canadian studio – following the firm's Atomhawk subsidiary setting up a Vancouver outpost in 2017 – and its 14th studio overall.

Timbre Games is being helmed by president and founding partner Joe Nickolls, who was previously a VP and GM of EA's Maxis studio, while Zoë Curnoe – a vet of Gears of War maker The Coalition – and Geoff Coates, previously of Relic, Capcom and EA, are also co-founders.

“Our people lie at the heart of our growth ambitions and Joe is the perfect person to be leading Timbre Games," Sumo Group boss Carl Cavers (pictured) said.

"His triple-A background will enable him to achieve real momentum for the studio, whilst also building on Sumo Group’s turn-key capabilities and unique approach to the process of making great games. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Group and I’m looking forward to what’s next from our North American colleagues."

Nickolls added: “With Timbre, we wanted to build a studio from the ground up with a focus on diversity, transparency, community involvement in game development, and a sustainable, fun workplace culture. Those priorities are shared by Pipeworks so it was a natural fit from the start.”

At the end of 2019, Chinese tech and entertainment giant Tencent bought a 10 per cent stake in Sumo.

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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 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, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.