Sponsored By

Sumo Group cuts 15 percent of staff across Canada, Poland, and more

The company's layoffs come just days after subsidiaries like Sumo Digital and Secret Mode announced the new projects they were working on.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

June 11, 2024

2 Min Read
Leatherface in the Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Image via Sumo Nottingham/Gun Interactive.

Update (6/11/24): Timbre Games, a subsidiary under Sumo Group, has been closed down entirely.

Now ex-employees from the studio broke the news on LinkedIn, with lead talent partner Jaclyn Adair revealing 80 people have been affected.

"We stood up for our beliefs and values and quickly made our mark on the industry," she wrote. "We had fun together and connected deeply. We were not without our growing pains, but we faced them head-on, transparently, together."

Timbre was spun up in 2021, and served as an extension of Pipeworks Studios. Led by EA alum Joe Nickolls, the Vancouver studio was aiming to make action and simulation games

Of Timbre and other studio closures, Adair said they "only serve short-term investments, and will, in the long term, degrade the quality and availability of talent in this industry."

"These massive industry shifts," she concluded, "cannot go without consequences. [...] I encourage anyone laid off in this industry to try not to let this ridiculous phase dampen their light. You are amazing, you are worthy."

Original story: The Sumo Group will be laying off 15 percent of its staff across its various subsidiaries. While an exact number wasn't given, the company said offices in Canada, Poland, India, the Czech Republic, and UK will be affected.

In its announcement, Sumo said it's been affected by the game industry's current issues and "reshaping operations across the business." These reductions are allegedly being made in spite of "every alternate route" being considered.

"This is an incredibly challenging process to go through for everyone at Sumo," it wrote. "Our focus is now on supporting our people and working with our partners on their games as we move forward to ensure we emerge from this difficult time, ready for the future."

Based in Sheffield and as a subsidiary of Tencent, Sumo Group is primarily known through its offshoots like Sumo Digital, The Chinese Room and the Nottingham team. Many of its studios operate as co-developers on other projects.

Sumo's long developer track record

Partner-wise, Sumo has teamed with Sega, Gearbox, and Codemasters on their games over the years. Separately, Sumo Digital had full development duties on Crackdown 3 and Sackboy: A Big Adventure for Xbox and Sony, respectively.

More recently, Sumo Nottingham ceded development of Texas Chain Saw Massacre to Black Tower. Nottingham originally developed the multiplayer horror game, but it's currently unclear what (or if) it's working on next.

It's worth noting these layoffs come just a day after Sumo unveiled new projects at Summer Games Fest. Its "busy weekend" included first looks at Critter Cafe from Secret Mode, Sumo Digital's Deathsprint 66, and more.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like