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Gravity Well: A New, Officeless Studio With Ex-Respawn Founders

The studio, located in Los Angeles, is preparing for developing AAA games, and they are waiting for new employees.

Drew McCoy and Jon „Slothy” Shiring are the founders of Gravity Well. The two ex-Respawn Entertainment developers want to create AAA titles. Both are veterans: they worked at Respawn from May 2010 to February 2020. McCoy was the senior producer of Titanfall 2 and the executive producer of Apex Legends; Shiring was the senior programmer of Titanfall and the lead programmer of Apex Legends. They are currently seeking development staff in the departments of animation, art, audio, engineering, game design, QA manager, and technical art and animation, as well as a human resources manager, IT manager, and office manager. All positions are available for remote working.

„Hi! I’m Drew, and I’m stoked to start a new studio here in LA with Slothy. We’ve been making games together for a long time and have learned a ton about ways to lead teams and ship games. We believe the time is right to shake things up in AAA game dev. We are starting a studio because of how we want to make games. 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. 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. We prefer to cut and focus down so we only ship what we love,” McCoy wrote.

„Once your team size crosses 100 people, everything changes. It’s nobody’s fault – big organizations just move slowly. You need meetings just to make decisions. Choices get siloed and brilliant creatives become less creative. So let’s just not do that. We’re going to build a team that is 80 to 85 people at peak. We aren’t satisfied with the low level of creative risk that gets project funding these days. We want to explore bold new ideas exclusively for next-gen hardware and PCs.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re starting the studio for remote work from the very start. Since one of the core values of Gravity Well is increased diversity, we’re excited about not being hamstrung by relocation or work visa issues. We want to hire the best talent in the industry, regardless of where you live,” Shiring added.

McCoy was also interviewed by Gamesindustry, and here, he said the following: „We have built nothing but AAA games and we don’t want to stop. And the transition to next-gen, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 is really exciting. It dovetails with our desire to find new spaces that people haven’t explored. While this new generation feels like an iteration of what we’ve already seen, I think that things like the amount of CPU power and I/O speed open up opportunities that we haven’t had before. Even when the Xbox One and PS4 were in development, what we were screaming at platforms to do was give us faster I/O, please. I am excited to see where we can get to with it.”

He also criticised the current AAA titles: „The AAA space has been increasingly taken over by massive franchises that are without an ability to express new ideas very easily. There is a lot of production value, a lot of money on the line, and a lot of bodies to make sure that they can do what has been done before a little bit better. We feel that the AAA space is losing the hunt a bit in terms of finding new things. When you look back, big explosive growth in a genre or in the industry itself doesn’t usually come from an iteration on a thing that already existed; it comes from a new thing that hasn’t been seen before… It probably means we will fail to find big massive hits sometimes, and that’s okay because you’re not always going to land perfectly. But if you never take a shot, then you’re never going to get those big rocket boosters up.”

He does have a point. Best of luck to them!

Source: Gematsu, WCCFTech

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