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Sumo Group, parent company of publisher Secret Mode, to lay off 15% of workforce

A twisted oil rig in Still Wakes the Deep.
Secret Mode

Sumo Group, the parent company of video game publisher Secret Mode, announced on Tuesday that it will be laying off up to 15% of its workforce, citing issues plaguing the games industry. This amounts to anywhere between 160-250 people, according to estimates.

“Whilst Sumo has been able to manage through many of the recent difficulties the games industry has faced, we have not been immune and reshaping operations across the business to better navigate the upcoming challenges expected in the coming months is a path we must now take to ensure the security of the business going forward,” the company wrote in a statement after internally notifying employees. It added that the affected workers will be across Canada, U.K., Poland, the Czech Republic, and India.

Polygon reporter Nicole Carpenter said that the move may include the complete closure of Timbre Games, which had two unannounced games in development. Timbre game director Sébastien Chaudet confirmed the closure on LinkedIn.

Sumo Group is a holding company, similar to Embracer Group, that owns a number of video game companies. Beyond Secret Mode there’s Sumo Digital, a developer that owns horror developer The Chinese Room, support studio Red Kite Games, and Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun developer Auroch Digital, among others.

Secret Mode just recently had a busy week presenting a bunch of games during the recent summer gaming showcase sprint. DeathSprint 66 and Parcel Corps got spotlighted during the PC Gaming Show; Critter Cafe got announced during the Wholesome Direct; and Stampede: Racing Royale not only was available to demo at IGN Live but will soon be in early access on Xbox Series X/S and PC via Xbox Game Preview and Steam.

Sumo is also getting ready for the release of Still Wakes the Deep, the latest title from horror developer Chinese Room, which is set to release on June 18.

This move is just the latest in a constant stream of layoffs that have been hitting the video game industry. Beyond Microsoft’s January layoffs, which affected around 1,900 workers, other major studios that have instigated layoffs in 2024 include Riot Games, Behaviour Interactive, and Electronic Arts.

Carli Velocci
Carli is a technology, culture, and games editor and journalist. They were the Gaming Lead and Copy Chief at Windows Central…
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