Founded in 2007 Sumo Pune was the second studio opened by Sumo Digital and has co-developed multiple incredible titles, including Sackboy: A Big Adventure and Hood: Outlaws & Legends.
As Sumo Digital is set to expand and be joined by an exciting new game development studio in Bangalore, Studio Director Stewart Neal talks about the plans and his hopes for the future of game development in India.
Can you tell us more about Sumo Bangalore?
"Since Sumo Pune opened in 2007 it’s been a tremendous success, growing to a 150-person co-development team across Art, Programming, Design, QA and Production. Due to its ongoing success, the variety of world-glass games it co-develops and the global growth of its parent company – Sumo Group, the next step in the growth of Sumo in India is to open another studio.
"The new studio, based in Bangalore, will initially have a focus on specialist Engineering and Art, with other teams set to grow from this foundation.
"We’re so excited about this next phase for Sumo in India. Myself and my colleagues in operations and finance will be working with discipline heads across both studios to facilitate the growth and - most importantly – to ensure a seamless integration into both Sumo India and the Sumo Digital family, ensuring our working culture translates across both studios."
Why did you choose Bangalore to open a second studio?
"Bangalore has been a well-established city for IT, software and gaming for many years, and has a wealth of game development, VFX and animation studios as well as respected Institutes developing world-class talent.
"There’s an existing pool of talent in Bangalore and I’m confident we’ll find good collaboration with municipal and academic players. The city has a commitment to digital development which is so important for Sumo and offers a good quality of life for those living there. All of this led to Bangalore coming out as top choice for the location of our next Indian studio."
What sort of opportunities will be available at Sumo Bangalore?
"We’re initially growing the studio as specialists in Engineering and Art, and we’re already recruiting for a range of roles in these disciplines:
• Network Engineers
• Rendering Engineers
• Backend Engineers
• Physics Engineers
• UI/UX Engineers
• Systems Engineers
• Build Engineers
• Technical Animators
• VFX Artists
• UI Artists
• Lighting Artists
• Character Artists
• Concept Artists
"We’re also looking to recruit for leadership in these areas, as well as roles in Production, HR and IT."
When will the studio open?
"We’ll be working from home until at least the end of 2021 as the safety of our team is paramount to us. In the meantime, we are looking for an office space in Bangalore which we hope will be ready to move into early 2022, or as soon as it’s safe to do so."
Along with the new Bangalore studio, plans have been laid out for Sumo Pune to expand. What can you tell us about it?
"We don’t shy away from a challenge! Whilst working from home over the last 18 months we have organically outgrown our current studio space due to the ongoing success of a range of projects we’ve been supporting. We’re also seeing further demand across all disciplines (including Art, Engineering, Design, QA and Production) as Sumo Group continues to grow.
"Sumo Pune has contributed significantly to console games, mobile/smart devices across all genres including first/third-person action/shooters, racing, adventure and sports games. Some of our titles include: Hood: Outlaws & Legends, Hotshot Racing, Forza Horizon Series, Crackdown 3, Snake Pass and Hitman 2.
"The incredible success of Sackboy: A Big Adventure – which saw major contributions from Sumo Pune – has also led to the expansion, as we want to continue to nurture the immense talent of our existing team in Pune."
What does the expansion offer in terms of new opportunities for anyone looking to join Sumo Pune?
"The growth of Sumo Pune will further expand our commitment to console game development in the city and offer even more exciting opportunities to our people. We’re delighted to have secured additional office space in the existing Sumo Pune building, which will see us accommodating a further 90 people and allow us to grow across all disciplines.
"We cannot wait to share the design of the new space and will be releasing a look into the expansion on out social media channels. Watch this space!"
For anyone thinking about joining Sumo Digital in India, what sort of benefits and facilities can they expect?
"Sumo in India has always assured that its teams enjoy their work while maintaining their personal life. We’ve always prioritised employee wellness, satisfaction and job security. Here are all the benefits we’re so proud to be able to offer our people (and it’s a long list!):
• Flexible working hours
• Group Health Insurance Policy – Self, spouse and children covered up
to 6 Lacs
• Term Insurance – 4 times of current CTC
• 21 days of paid holidays with four statutory days
• Five Learning days each year
• 4-weeks paternity leave, 6 Months Maternity leave
• Arrangements for bereavement, adoption and sabbaticals etc
• Monthly snacks amount top-up to your Sodexo card
• Competitive bonuses
• Relocation Assistance
• Industry-leading recruitment Referral Scheme
• Special Occasion Celebration & Celebration vouchers
• Timely care packages
• Regular socials including: Movie nights, Online watch parties, dinner parties, an invite to the much-loved ‘Sumo Big Day Out’ for you and your family
• Employee Assistance program
• Gaming events and activities which include team lunch/ team dinner
• Recognition of service length awards
A huge thank you to Stewart for talking to us. All information on Sumo Pune can be found on its website.