Tencent to acquire British game developer Sumo for £919m

19 Jul 2021

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The acquisition of the BAFTA-winning gaming house marks Tencent’s continued global expansion.

Chinese tech giant Tencent is acquiring British gaming company Sumo for about £919m, the company announced today (19 July).

Sheffield-based Sumo, a video game developer which primarily makes racing and snooker games, developed recent BAFTA winning Sackboy: A Big Adventure for Sony and Crackdown 3 for Microsoft.

Tencent, one of the world’s largest gaming and social media companies, will pay £5.13 a share for Sumo, Reuters reports. Word on the deal has seen Sumo’s shares skyrocket by 42pc in London reaching a record high.

The move marks Tencent’s continued global expansion and adds to its array of popular games such as Fortnite, League of Legends and the mobile version of Call of Duty.

Tencent already owns an 8.75pc stake in Sumo and the acquisition will go through Tencent’s subsidiary Sixjoy Hong Kong.

“The opportunity to work with Tencent is one we just couldn’t miss. It would bring another dimension to Sumo, presenting opportunities for us to truly stamp our mark on this amazing industry, in ways which have previously been out of reach,” Sumo CEO and co-founder Carl Cavers said in a statement.

Cavers said that he and Sumo’s other two founders, Paul Porter and Darren Mills, are set to continue their roles in the company after the acquisition.

“Alongside the acceleration of own-IP work, Tencent has demonstrated its commitment to backing our client work and has stated its intention to ensure that we have the necessary investment to continue focusing on work with our key strategic partners on turn-key and co-development projects,” he said.

Sumo counts among its partners and clients Microsoft’s Xbox, Amazon Game Studios, Apple, Google and the BBC. It listed on London’s AIM market in 2017 at £1 per share.

In a similar deal earlier this year, US-based Electronic Arts bought game developer Codemasters for $1.2bn. Another England-based company, Codemasters was responsible for developing the popular F1 series of games.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic