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Middlesbrough’s SockMonkey Studios bought by Canada’s Behaviour Interactive

A video game developer says it will move to a new level following a takeover.

Middlesbrough’s SockMonkey Studios is now part of Canada’s Behaviour Interactive.

Bosses say the deal will “provide further career opportunities and establish Teesside as a hotbed for game development”.

Under the terms of the agreement, completed for an undisclosed sum, ten-year-old SockMonkey has been rebranded as Behaviour UK – North, with founders and bosses Darren Cuthbert, Bob Makin and Darren Falcus remaining in post.

Chief executive Bob [pictured, above, right, with Darren Cuthbert] said: “We’re thrilled to celebrate our tenth anniversary year by joining Behaviour’s growing group of studios.

“Behaviour is rapidly emerging as a global player within the gaming industry, and we are proud to represent the first step in their European expansion.”

The deal also provides an exit for NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which made a £250,000 investment in SockMonkey in 2020 and recruited industry figurehead Ron Ashtiani, who, as chair, helped the business nearly triple staff numbers to 45.

Will Clark, of Mercia, said: “SockMonkey are a talented team, who have been playing a key role in building Middlesbrough’s profile as a hub for the games industry.

“Since our initial investment three years ago, they have grown rapidly and have firmly established their position as one of the UK’s leading games studios.

“The acquisition will enable them to continue their growth as part of a larger business and benefit from Behaviour’s global network.”