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North East games developer secures £250,000 funding boost


Middlesbrough-based games developer SockMonkey Studios has secured a £250,000 investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

SockMonkey was founded in 2013 by Darren Cuthbert and Bob Makin (pictured) – later joined by Darren Falcus – and has seen rapid growth in recent years.

Its recent projects include adapting the popular PC game Deliver Us The Moon for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as developing the Nintendo Switch version of Prison Architect.

Through the investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, SockMonkey is set to bring Fish Tanks, its first original game, to market this summer. It will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC and mobile phone platforms.

The studio currently employs 18 members of staff and is set to create a further dozen new jobs by the end of this year, almost tripling its staff numbers to 50 by 2021.

SockMonkey will also receive practical support from Mercia’s games expert Ron Ashtiani, the former CEO of Sumo Group’s Atomhawk business, who has been appointed as chair.

Bob Makin, CEO, said: “Having created many hits for other games companies, we are excited to now be launching our first original title later this year, and have additional games already at the prototype stage.

“With the next generation of video games consoles due to be released by the end of 2020, there’s no better time to create a ‘superstudio’ and put SockMonkey – and the wider Tees Valley games development community – on the map. This funding, along with Mercia’s knowledge of the games industry, will help us to do that.”

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