Darren Cuthbert and Bob Makin, founders of SockMonkey.
Chloe Shakesby

Middlesbrough games developer to create dozens of jobs with £250k investment

A Northern games developer has received a £250k investment to create jobs and fund the launch of its first original game.

SockMonkey Studios, based in Middlesbrough, has secured a £250k investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

Through the investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia, SockMonkey is set to bring ‘Fish Tanks’, its first original game, to market this summer.

Currently employing 18 members of staff, the studio is using the investment to roll out a phased growth plan, creating a dozen new jobs by the end of this year, and almost tripling its staff numbers to 50 by 2021 in order to support growing demand.

Bob Makin, CEO of SockMonkey, commented: “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.”

Simon Crabtree of Mercia said: “SockMonkey is a successful studio with a talented and ambitious team.

“Developing its own games will allow it to benefit from ongoing royalties and add value to the business.

“With the gaming sector continuing to grow rapidly, it bodes well for the future of the company and the Teesside games industry.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: “SockMonkey has played a key part in Middlesbrough’s vibrant digital and creative sector for years, and the latest welcome news of the launch of their first original game is set to drive its growth even further.

“Thanks to money invested via NPIF, SockMonkey is going from strength to strength.

“As well as creating real jobs for local people, it’s another example of businesses in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool going global with their products, showing our expertise on the world stage.”

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