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Sumo Group and Pipeworks open Canadian studio Timbre Games

Sumo Group is expanding into Canada with the launch of a new studio called Timbre Games helmed by former Maxis VP and general manager, Joe Nickolls.

Sumo Group is expanding into Canada with the launch of a new studio called Timbre Games helmed by former Maxis VP and general manager, Joe Nickolls. 

Sumo has opened the fledgling studio through its Oregon-based Pipeworks subsidiary, which it purchased back in September 2020 for an undisclosed fee. The company also owns a number of other studios including Sumo Digital, The Chinese Room, Red Kite Games, PixelAnt Games, and Lab 42.

Timbre has been described by Sumo and Pipeworks as a "new kind of game studio where diversity, transparency, community and healthy workplace culture will be in its DNA." The new opening will focus on developing action-adventure and simulation titles. 

Nickolls will oversee Timbre as studio president with the help of fellow co-founders Zoe Curnoe and Geoff Coates, who've been named production director and creative director, respectively. 

Both Curnoe and Coates have experience working on high-profile projects, with the former most recently serving as production director at Gears of War developer The Coalition, while the latter has racked up a number of art and directorial credits on franchises like Company of Heroes and Dead Rising.

"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," said Nickolls, outlining their ambitions for the company. "Those priorities are shared by Pipeworks so it was a natural fit from the start. We’re going to make great games right across Canada, fully embracing remote work and a hybrid studio approach."

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