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Ex-Respawn devs establish new studio: Gravity Well

Drew McCoy and Jon ‘Slothy’ Shiring join forces for a LA-based studio

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Octane celebrating in Apex Legends as explosions go off behind him Image: Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

In February, Jon Shiring and Drew McCoy — two long-time developers at Respawn Entertainment — separately left to pursue unknown projects. On Monday, the duo announced the formation of a new AAA studio: Gravity Well.

The Gravity Well website describes the new studio as AAA, but focused on maintaining a small team — between 80-85 people, to keep the creative juices flowing. According to Shiring, the goal is to explore “bold new ideas exclusively for next-gen hardware and PCs.”

The studio will offer remote development work from the start. While the remote nature of Gravity Well is partially in response to COVID-19, McCoy and Shiring are adamant about maintaining remote culture. The duo plans to hire a diverse staff, with remote development removing barriers like work visas and relocation costs.

Gravity Well is currently hiring 11 different roles, including an office manager for when LA exits the COVID-19 lockdown. In addition to traditional development roles in audio, engineering, QA, and writing, McCoy and Shiring have a special application section for “Not Listed” — asking potential employees to pitch themselves if their skills don’t fit an already featured roll.

According to McCoy and Shiring, they designed Gravity Well to put developers first — meaning no crunch and more creative freedom.

Together, McCoy and Shiring are partially responsible for games like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, both Titanfall games, and Apex Legends.

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