Sumo Group expands in Canada

Pipeworks Studios launches new studio Timbre Games with Joe Nickolls as President

Sumo Group, one of the largest providers of end-to-end creative development services to the video games and entertainment industries, expands in Canada with the launch of Timbre Games, a Pipeworks Studios company.

Timbre Games will be Sumo Group’s second studio in Canada and its 15th studio overall with the Group now employing over 1100 people across three continents. This launch is another step forward in the company’s growth strategy for North America.  Joe Nickolls, formerly a VP and GM of Maxis / Electronic Arts, with over 22 years of AAA game development, is the President and founding Partner of Timbre Games.

“Our People lie at the heart of our growth ambitions and Joe is the perfect person to be leading Timbre Games. His AAA background will enable him to achieve real momentum for the studio, whilst also building on Sumo Group’s turn-key capabilities and unique approach to the process of making great games. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Group and I’m looking forward to what’s next from our North American colleagues.” Commented Carl Cavers, CEO, Sumo Group.

Nickolls is joined by his Timbre Games co-founders Zoë Curnoe and Geoff Coates, two veteran game developers with deep ties to the Vancouver game development community.  Curnoe was most recently the Production Director of the Story Campaign for the Gears of War series at The Coalition. Coates, Timbre’s Studio Creative Director, has a wide variety of game experience, including roles as Art and Creative Director on Company of Heroes (Relic), DeadRising 4 (Capcom), and the SSX franchise (EA).

“With Timbre, we wanted to build a studio from the ground up with a focus on diversity, transparency, community involvement in game development, and a sustainable, fun workplace culture,” Nickolls said.  “Those priorities are shared by Pipeworks so it was a natural fit from the start.”

"We couldn't be more thrilled that Timbre Games is the first of our new studios," said Lindsay Gupton, CEO, Pipeworks Studios. "We’re inspired by the team's vision and confident they will not only create truly fun games but do so in an inclusive environment where voices are heard and employees thrive.”

Sumo Group acquired Pipeworks Studios in September 2020. Its team has worked on more than 75 games with partners including EA Sports, Wizards of the Coast, Activision, Facebook, NASA, MetaTeq, and more. Timbre Games is Pipeworks Studios’ first new studio in North America and plans to launch additional studios in the near future.

Timbre Games will focus on the action/adventure and simulation genres drawing on the leadership team’s extensive experience in this area.  The studio is currently building its team and is looking to create a blend of experienced industry talent and fresh new voices.

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