News 15.12.2022

Sumo Group – 2022 in Review

2022 has been a significant year for everyone at Sumo Group – we’ve created great games, welcomed new studios, made an impact through our charitable work and continued our commitment to a more sustainable, safe and inclusive future for the games industry, and become part of the Tencent family.

We’ve come together in person and had the opportunity to share ideas, make memories and celebrate award wins, so join us as we reflect on a year at Sumo Group.

Making great games

Throughout the year our talented teams in studios around the world create exciting projects, only some of which we can mention here (the rest are firmly under wraps for now)!

For Sumo Digital, Lab42 started the year with the release of Crusader Kings III on console and continued their partnership with No Brakes Games on Human Fall Flat – developing innovative and physics-defying levels and skins.

Red Kite Games announced its partnership with Media Tonic to bring Fall Guys to consoles and the Epic Games Store, whilst Sumo Warrington confirmed it’s been working in close collaboration with Rocksteady Studios on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.

Sumo Nottingham continued work with Gun Interactive on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and this year revealed exciting maps, exclusive trailers, behind-the-scenes insights into making the game and information about the infamous Slaughter Family and their new victims.

Secret Mode’s second year was full of game announcements and launches. In the last 12 months, Secret Mode has released: Wobbledogs for Steam, PC and Console, Turbo Golf Racing to Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One and Game Pass, Penko Park on Nintendo Switch and Eternals Threads and A Little to the Left on PC and console. The publisher also worked with The Chinese Room on the release of platforming adventure, Little Orpheus, on PC and console earlier this year to critical acclaim (and a win of Best in Show at Indie X 2022).

Auroch Digital – the latest studio to join the Sumo Group family – has also enjoyed a busy year. Commencing with the release of MegaQuarium Freshwater Frenzy DLC and an update for Mars Horizon, then a double title announcement of Ogre on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC and its partnership with Focus Interactive on Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun due for release in 2023. The Studio also released its highly anticipated title, Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator, with Fireshine Games in autumn to critical and player acclaim alike.

A year of collaboration

Following two years of working from home, this year we began to reopen studios for our people as part of our Future of Work journey, our initiative to ensure a new hybrid working future is sustainable, inclusive and suited to people’s needs.

We’ve seen impressive engagement with our internal inclusion and belonging community, Prism. The grassroots initiative allows our people to be part of change at policy level, receive training in a range of areas and help to make Sumo Group a place where everyone can bring their authentic self to work every day. Prism has grown over the last 12 months and now has 15 Diversity Champions and over 200 active members, with plans to further increase next year.

The first-ever Sumo Developer Conference saw over 700 of our people coming together in Sheffield in the summer to learn together, share knowledge and – for many – meet their colleagues in person for the first time.

Industry recognition

Kicking off the year, we were delighted to be named the #12 Best Large Employer in the UK by Best Companies, along with a #4 ranking on the Technology sector list and our studios receiving regional recognition for Q1 2022. Sumo Group was also honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its excellence in International Trade and received a royal visit for the presentation ceremony last month.

For commitment to the learning and development of our people, we collected a pair of awards for our internal learning platform, Dojo, from the Learning Excellence Awards and the Employee Experience Awards.

Elsewhere, our in-house recruitment team won Recruitment Star at the Develop: Star Awards, a ceremony which also saw Sumo Digital named as Best Studio for the second consecutive year. Whilst in Brighton, Lab42, Atomhawk and Red Kite Games all collected GI.Biz Best Places to Work Awards.

In October we were named Employer of the Year at the 2022 TIGA Awards and to round off the year we’ve just achieved the maximum 3 Star Accreditation in the Best Companies b-Heard survey.

Anna Caulcott-Cooper at The Chinese Room and Harinder Sangha from Sumo Leamington were both winners at the MCV/Develop Women in Games Awards. Anna made her win a double with an MCV/Develop 30 Under 30 win, where she was joined by Sumo Group’s Georgina Cornelius and Sumo Leamington’s Anna Lecue, along with five honourable mentions for people across the Group.

Finally, Karen McLoughlin collected the award for Outstanding Leadership at the TIGA Awards a testament to the dedication and passion she has for both Sumo Group and the games industry overall.

Every small thing we do for charity can make a big difference

Sumo Group continued relationships with long-standing charity partner, SpecialEffect, and began official charitable partnerships with new charities Solving Kids’ Cancer and GamesAid.

Throughout the year, people from across the Group have taken part in events to raise vital funds for our partner charities - from streaming for SpecialEffect’s One Special Day to a 12-hour Cyclothon for Solving Kids’ Cancer.

Sumo Group studios also work closely with charities in their regions to raise funds and awareness for causes including The Clock Tower Sanctuary, Framework, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Bristol Sunflower Ward and North East Dads & Lads.

An inclusive and welcoming place to work

This year, we’ve continued our work with Women in Games, Mission Gender Equity and Safe in Our World, and begun collaborating with Limit Break, Into Games and Code Coven.

Our people have stepped up to become mentors, deliver workshops and talks, and have volunteered to become ambassadors for a range of partners. Through this work, we’ve been able to help students discover careers in games, work with mentees to take their first step into the industry and support people in levelling up their knowledge.

On top of all this, we’ve seen the return of in-person celebrations like Big Day Out and our Christmas parties, our people have delivered workshops and talks to schools and colleges, and we continue to run our Sumo Digital Academy, our trailblazing apprenticeship programme.

But that’s not all… 2023 is Sumo’s 20th anniversary and there are plenty of plans to bring our people together and celebrate.

Sumo Group is looking for talented people to join its global teams. If you can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2023, why not discover our current opportunities on the Careers Page.