Two key Respawn Entertainment developers have started a new game studio called Gravity Well, with a focus on fostering a healthy work environment. Drew McCoy and Jon Shiring have worked on major titles over the last decade-plus -- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, the Titanfall games and Apex Legends -- so whatever they're cooking up will surely be worth paying attention to.
McCoy was executive producer on Apex Legends and Shiring was lead programmer. They left Respawn to create a studio centered around how they want to make games, according to McCoy.
"We want time to iterate on everything and get ideas and feedback from the whole team," he wrote on the company's website. "We're building this studio to last for decades, and that doesn't happen without putting the team first."
Today, @DKo5 and I are proud to announce Gravity Well - a new AAA studio! We are building the team that will create something really fun with us. Whether you are in Los Angeles or want to work remotely, we’d love to hear from you. https://t.co/42IaVXQNdk— Jon Shiring (@jonshiring) May 11, 2020
The duo is capping the size of the company at 85 employees to make sure the team can work flexibly and without too much red tape. McCoy and Shiring plan to maintain an anti-crunch culture -- in a similar vein, Respawn said last year it'd space out Apex Legends updates to avoid overworking its developers.
Although the studio is based in Los Angeles, it'll embrace remote working. "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," Shiring wrote. "We want to hire the best talent in the industry, regardless of where you live."
McCoy and Shiring were among dozens of developers who left Infinity Ward after parent company Activision fired that studio's founders Vince Zampella and Jason West in 2010. The latter duo then started Respawn and hired many of their former employees to work on Titanfall.