Apex Legends executive producer Drew McCoy and lead programmer Jon “Slothy” Shiring have a new studio. The couple left Respawn Entertainment after 10 years to found Gravity Well. This new company will also focus on blockbuster-scale games, however, while primarily working with fewer than 100 employees remotely.
Gravity Well opens in Los Angeles and would like to hire employees immediately. In a post on the studio’s website, McCoy says this is an opportunity to change the way people play triple-A games.
“We’re starting a studio because of How We want to make games, ”writes McCoy. “We want to have time to repeat everything and get ideas and feedback from the entire team. We have been building this studio for decades, and that is not possible without the team coming first. “
McCoy explains that Gravity Well will prioritize “team health”. And to make sure of that, McCoy and Shiring plan to keep things small.
“As soon as your team size exceeds 100 people, everything changes,” writes Shiring. “You need meetings to make decisions. Decisions become silly and brilliant creatives become less creative. “
To avoid these pitfalls, Gravity Well will peak at 85 people. The founders believe that they will take more risks without fear of supporting a massive organization.
From Infinity Ward to Respawn to Gravity Well
It doesn’t seem that McCoy and Shiring helped build Respawn 10 years ago. The two followed Infinity Ward founders Vince Zampella and Jason West when they left the Activision studio after a violent wage dispute with the publisher. After a few years, Respawn launched Titanfall in 2014.
McCoy and Shiring have been important members of this team from the start. They then took on even higher roles with Titanfall 2 and then with Apex Legends, both of which are major successes. The latter is a massive live service hit.
But the two are now facing even bigger challenges by starting their own business. They have demonstrated their skills up to this point and now we can see what they are doing themselves.