UK-based company Sumo Group recently announced a new publishing division under their wings—Secret Mode. Through Secret Mode, Sumo hopes to work with and bring to life, smaller, indie-based projects. James Schall and Derek Seklecki, both former senior employees at Sega, will work with the team to “break down the stereotypical publisher-developer relationship [and focus] on finding… smaller gems—smart, creative games that we wished we’d developed ourselves.” Through Secret Mode, many of Sumo Group’s internal titles will take flight—bringing to light a slew of untapped indie potential.
Secret Mode’s “first projects… will be… Sumo titles, namely Snake Pass and Little Orpheus… [with interest] in PC titles, as that’s a ‘community-focused platform’ says Schall.” Secret Mode will join Sumo Group’s other divisions—Sumo Digital, Atomhawk, and Pipeworks Studios.
Four former management employees of Infogrames Studios (Gremlin Interactive) founded Sumo Digital back in 2003. They have since become a name synonymous with video games, co-developing titles with Sega, Konami, and Sony Interactive Entertainment, most recently working on the LittleBigPlanet spin-off—Sackboy: A Big Adventure.
Secret Mode will also be a subsidiary alongside Pipeworks Studios, a developer formed in 1999 by employees of the now defunct Dynamix. This Eugene, Oregon-based group of enthusiastic video game creators are the co-developers of insanely popular titles, such as Madden NFL 2020 and the sandbox-darling Terraria. Atomhawk, a fellow UK-based company, brings “world class visual development and design” to life, having worked on movies, video games, and everything between on concept/production art, motion graphics, UI/UX design, and marketing art, most notably providing their services to Guardians of the Galaxy and Mortal Kombat 11.
With inclusion of these and other recently acquired studios through the Sumo Digital label, such as PixelAnt Games and Lab 42, Sumo Group is making serious power moves in 2021 to be a formidable name in indie gaming. Paul Porter, chief operating officer at Sumo Group, adds to this sentiment, describing Secret Mode as a “natural progression” and that the imprint “knows how to nurture developer talent… [by] providing the resources and creativity to help make… creations fly.”
We are excited to see what “secrets” will take flight from Secret Mode’s indie/in-house nest in the coming months and years!