Gravity Well is a new studio from two Respawn veterans.
Respawn Entertainment’s Drew McCoy, who left the studio earlier this year, has teamed with another ex-Respawn developer – Jon Shiring – to form a new independent studio they named Gravity Well.
Gravity Well aims to work on AAA games while remaining relatively small. Shiring believes that teams above 100 developers run into creative problems and lose their agility. The aim with Gravity Well is to keep the headcount to “80-85 people at peak,” which should make it easier to communicate and iterate.
The studio’s mission is to also take risks and experiment, without scarifying the health and well-being of its staff. “We take team health as an absolute top priority. That means we are anti-crunch,” McCoy said.
“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.”
Shiring added, “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.”
Another interesting wrinkle to this story is that Gravity Well is designed to accommodate remote workers and those who prefer to work from home. This obviously helps when you establish a new studio in the middle of a global pandemic, but it also allows the team to hire anyone anywhere.
Speaking of which, the official website lists 11 open positions, but none of them even hit at what the studio’s first project is going to be. They also don’t specify experience with specific genres, probably intentionally.
If you’re curious to find out more about this venture, our friends at Games Industry spoke to McCoy and Shiring about their goals and plans for the future.