Ex-Respawn Entertainment Developers Launch 'Anti-Crunch' Studio

Gravity Well aims to make AAA games without the baggage.
Gravity Well aims to make AAA games without the baggage. / Courtesy of Gravity Well

Former Apex Legends executive producer Drew McCoy and former Apex Legends lead software engineer Jon Shiring announced a new studio Tuesday called Gravity Well, aiming to "shake things up in AAA game dev," according to McCoy.

"We are starting a studio because of how we want to make games," he wrote in a statement.

"We're building this studio to last for decades, and that doesn't happen without putting the team first."

Gravity Well will prioritize team health above all else, taking a hardline stance against the kind of forced overtime typical in game development and commonly referred to as crunch. McCoy described the studio as explicitly anti-crunch.

"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."

The team will also incorporate remote work from the beginning.

"Since one of our core values of Gravity Well is increased diversity, we're excited about not being hamstrung by relocation or work visa issues," Shiring said. "We want to hire the best talent in the industry regardless of where you live."

Gravity Well aims to keep the team size at around 80-85 employees even as it develops AAA games, allowing it to stay flexible and personable. The studio is currently hiring for 11 roles.