23 February 2023
We have advised Behaviour™ Interactive, the largest Canadian video game studio, on its acquisition of SockMonkey Studios, an award-winning developer based in the United Kingdom.
SockMonkey is Behaviour’s first European investment and will be renamed Behaviour UK – North upon acquisition. The studio will operate as a valuable partner for Behaviour’s Services division, which provides development services to such clients as Microsoft, Sony, EA, Warner, Netflix, and Take-Two, among many others.
Founded in 1992, Behaviour is a multi-faceted Canadian gaming studio renowned for creating and supporting genre-defying titles. Behaviour has enjoyed immense success with its original horror-action multiplayer game, Dead by Daylight™, and will release its next major original IP, Meet Your Maker™, on 4 April this year.
Based in Middlesbrough, SockMonkey’s 45 team members are focused on co- and full-development projects across all platforms. The SockMonkey team has earned numerous awards, including being recognised as one of Gamesindustry.biz’s Best Places to Work in 2022. As Behaviour UK – North, the studio will focus exclusively on projects for Behaviour’s roster of blue-chip clients.
Commenting on the transaction, corporate partner Philip Shepherd said: "Behaviour's entry into the UK market with the acquisition of SockMonkey is an exciting first step in its European expansion. We're delighted to have supported the Behaviour team and we look forward to watching the company continue to grow and tap into the fantastic video games industry talent that the UK has to offer."
Rémi Racine, Behaviour’s CEO and Executive Producer said: “We’re delighted to add SockMonkey’s award-winning team to our industry-leading Services division. Like Seattle’s Midwinter Entertainment, which we acquired last year, SockMonkey is founded upon strong core values of innovation and collaboration. These values mirror our own and make SockMonkey a natural fit for our ambitious growth strategy."
Nadia Jubinville, Chief Legal Officer, Privacy Operator and Corporate Secretary at Behaviour commented: "Taylor Wessing's extensive experience advising Canadian companies expanding to the UK and their knowledge of the video games sector was incredibly valuable. Phil, Paul, Richard and their team's quick response and engagement were key to delivering the transaction!”
The team was led by partner Philip Shepherd in the Corporate team with support from senior counsel Paul Thorpe, associate Richard Price and trainee Abi Easton.
Further support was provided by:
Partner Graham Hann and associate Calum Parfitt
Partners Helen Farr and Anna Taylor, senior counsel Charlie Pring and associates Afshan Malik and Radhika Morally
Partner Emma Oakley and associate Francesca Gibbs
Partner Graham Samuel-Gibbon and associate Joe Fallon
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt advised on the Canadian aspects of the transaction.