Sumo swoop for Huddersfield’s Red Kite Games

Chinese conglomerate acquires stake in Sheffield video game maker
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Nata-Lia

Listed video games developer Sumo Group has acquired West Yorkshire’s Red Kite Games in a £2 million deal.

The deal of Red Kite, a work-for-hire studio focussing on engineering and code support services, provides Sumo with increased capacity and access to talent in West Yorkshire.

Sheffield’s Sumo Digital has worked with Red Kite for a number of years having collaborated on a range of titles.

Over the last twelve months, Sumo Digital has accounted for around 40% of Red Kite’s sales with the other 60% coming from projects that are not publicly disclosed.

Established by ex-Rockstar Games developer Simon Iwaniszak in 2012, Red Kite is primarily a work-for-hire studio, providing game development services and code solutions to the video games industry.

The business operates from a single studio in Huddersfield employing 27 people and has worked on games including God of War III: Remastered and Call of Duty: Strike Team.

In the year ended 31 January 2018, Red Kite reported EBITDA of £0.4 million on revenue of £0.9 million.

Simon Iwaniszak, David Roberts and Andrew Greensmith, three of Red Kite’s former shareholders, have entered into new service agreements and will be issued with options over Sumo Group shares under the Company’s Long-Term Incentive Plan.

The business will continue to operate under the Red Kite name, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumo Digital.

Red Kite is expected to contribute circa £0.2 million to Sumo Group EBITDA in the 11 months to 31 December 2019.

Carl Cavers, Sumo Group CEO, said: “Red Kite is an established brand with talented people, providing engineering and code support services to some of the biggest names in the industry.

“Simon and his team are already well known to us and we are confident that Red Kite will integrate quickly and successfully. On behalf of the whole Group, I extend a warm welcome.”

Mr Iwaniszak, Studio Director of Red Kite, added: “We are very much looking forward to being part of Sumo Group. Sumo Digital is such an exciting business, working on incredible projects.

“Being part of a creative, ambitious and supportive Group, which is delivering great results, will present new opportunities and new challenges to Red Kite. We have exciting plans for the studio and believe that Sumo Group will help us to achieve our full potential.”