Ex-Respawn Devs Form New Gaming Studio Called Gravity Well With Focus On Next-Gen Games

Ex-Respawn Devs Form New Gaming Studio Called Gravity Well With Focus On Next-Gen Games
Credit: Gravity Well via Youtube

Known for their work on Titanfall, Titanfall 2, and Apex Legends, executive producer Drew McCoy and lead designer Jon Shiring have left Respawn Entertainment to form their own studio dubbed Gravity Well. After 10 years working at and helping to build Respawn from the ground up, the two decided they would leave the highly successful studio to focus on their own methods of building AAA titles.

In a post on their website, McCoy writes that they view this as an opportunity to change how the industry produces video games. Namely, focusing on AAA titles without the time-crunch, low pay, and mental health issues that are rife throughout the industry.

They plan to do this by prioritizing “team-health” and going forward with an employee-forward motif. Their team size is also going to factor into the studio’s success going forward as well.

The new studio plans on sticking to around 80-85 people. Shiring writes, “Once your team size crosses 100 people, everything changes.”

By keeping a small studio, Gravity Well also hopes to maintain a higher level of creative risk to create more dynamic and inspired games, saying that they aren’t happy with the kind of low-risk projects that get funding nowadays.

A smaller team also inherently allows for more creative freedom allowed throughout the game-making process. Less people means less obstruction for ideas to be heard and criticism to be received. “You need meetings just to make decisions. Choices get siloed and brilliant creatives become less creative,” Slothy writes.

The anti-crunch aspect contributes to the allowance of more creative freedom as well. Drew says, “We want time to iterate on everything and get ideas and feedback from the whole team. We’re building this studio to last for decades, and that doesn’t happen without putting the team first.”

One of the more important motifs of the company is the ability to work from home. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and how it’s going to affect the gaming industry going forward, the studio believes that the ability to work from home is going to be instrumental in keeping the team safe and happy.

Beyond that, however, the ability to work from home is going to be key to the success of the studio in other ways. The potential is limitless for the studio to hire the best talent in the industry, seeing as they won’t have to worry about being hamstrung by relocation and work-visa issues. Shiring writes, “We want to hire the best talent in the industry, regardless of where you live.”

If you work in the gaming industry and are interested in the upcoming developer studio, or just want to learn more about them, you can reach them via the contact information on their website.