Bristol video game developer Auroch Digital sells to Sumo Group for £6 million

Dr Tomas Rawlings, Founder and Studio Director of Auroch Digital
Auroch Digital, Tomas Rawlings

Auroch Digital, a Bristol-based videogame developer and publisher with a focus on original IP creation, has been bought by Sheffield-based Sumo Group for £6 million.

Founded by Tomas and Debbie Rawlings in 2010, Auroch Digital has a pipeline of original IP and a track record for developing innovative, high-quality titles, including Mars Horizon, the strategy management game launched on Steam, Switch, Xbox, and PS4 in November 2020.

Carl Cavers, CEO of Sumo Group, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Tomas and the Auroch Digital team to the Group. Given our increasing focus on Own-IP, we are particularly excited by Auroch Digital’s pipeline of original IP. So, while this is a relatively small acquisition, it is a highly significant one for us strategically.”

Dr Tomas Rawlings, Founder and Studio Director of Auroch Digital, added: “We’re really excited to be joining the Sumo Group family. We share so many values and Sumo will be a good home for us. We have a shared desire always to improve the quality and depth of the games we make, a commitment to being a positive and respectful workplace, a desire to invest in new talent, and a shared wish to make a lot of fun, engagement and gameplay for all. Auroch Digital joining Sumo Group really is the natural next step in our journey and we’re really excited to be taking it together.”

The Sumo Group said that Bristol is a key strategic location. As well as bringing more talent to the Group, the Acquisition creates access to the growing talent pool in the South-West of England and parts of South Wales and takes the number of Group studios to 15.

Auroch Digital was backed in its early days by Bristol Private Equity Club.

Jerry Barnes, founder of Bristol Private Equity Club said: “We backed a very small company, enabling it to grow from 15 people to 48 and now that backing has come to fruition.

“It is a life-changing moment for the founders and also sees the Club members that backed them receive at least four times return on their investment. Depending on future performance there could be up to ten times return.

“Our investments are almost always with businesses at the forefront of technology and development. Game development has emerged from relatively humble beginnings to become a major worldwide growth industry. We saw the potential of Auroch Digital early on and our members backed it.

“It has proved a fantastic return for our investors. BPEC has invested £10 million in the last five years into South West growth businesses.”

Dr. Tomas Rawlings added: “We are delighted at the backing we had from Bristol Private Equity Club members when we really needed funds to build the business.

“This deal is a life-changing moment for us and the next step on our business journey. To receive backing from well-established Bristol-based entrepreneurs gave us the boost we needed to get us to the success we are celebrating today.”