After working with Respawn Entertainment since its inception, two former employees have opened a new studio which aims to develop AAA games without any crunch, delivering “bold new ideas exclusively for next-gen hardware and PCs.”
Gravity Well’s two founders are Drew McCoy and Jon “Slothy” Shiring. McCoy helped found Respawn Entertainment after working on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and most recently acted as executive producer on Apex Legends. Shiring has worked on net code and online launches for multiple online shooters, including Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Titanfall, and Apex Legends. The pair are launching Gravity Wells as a remote studio in the wake of COVID-19, but aim to establish a formal studio space in the future.
In the announcement, McCoy specifically mentions the goal of creating a studio that focuses on the health and compensation of its employees. “We take team health as an absolute top priority. That means we are anti-crunch. That means good compensation. That means everyone at Gravity Well has creative freedom, because when someone else makes all of the decisions, work isn’t fun and the end product isn’t as good,” McCoy writes.
Shiring adds that the pair weren’t happy with how larger teams stifled both creativity and development speed, with Gravity Well aiming to hire between 80-85 employees to avoid that. Shiring also mentions that the pair “aren’t satisfied with the low level of creative risk that gets project funding these days,” with the aim to produce creatively diverse titles for new hardware.
Gravity Well is currently seeking developers, artists, managers, and more to get in contact as it starts building the studio from the ground up. You can find its open listings on the studio’s official website.
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