Sumo Digital, the developers behind the Crackdown 3, Dead Island 2, and many others over the years have announced the purchase of CCP Games’ Newcastle-based studio. 34 staffers will be retained, as well as former Executive Producer Owen O’Brien, who will now lead the studio.
The move is hardly surprising. In October 2017, CCP Games laid off nearly 100 employees, shutting down their studio in Atlanta, Georgia and greatly reducing the staff at their now former Newcastle branch. The EVE: Valkyrie developer also announced they would be moving away from VR games, and head back into more traditional PC games. Just a few days ago, the company announced development had begun on a new MMORPG.
As for Sumo Digital, this is another move in the studio’s growing grab for subsidiaries. Originally based in Sheffield, UK, the company has since expanded to Nottingham and Pune, India, and have also acquired art studio Atomhawk last year. The developer has enjoyed growing success over the last few years, self-publishing cult hit 3D platformer Snake Pass in early 2017, as well as taking over development of LittleBigPlanet 3 from Media Molecule.
Sumo Digital was also put in charge of development on Dead Island 2 by publisher Deep Silver, which has been stuck in developmental hell since its 2014 announcement by Yager Development. As if that weren’t enough, they’re also currently working on Crackdown 3, also first announced in 2014.
Sumo Digital and CCP Games are both heading in radically different directions. As Sumo Digital takes on more work and more studios to support themselves, CCP Games is downsizing, and moving away from VR. The two studios are working together on Project Nova, set in the EVE universe. It’s safe to say the relationship fostered between the two while working on this game may have been the catalyst for the sale.