Former Apex Legends producer Drew McCoy, along with former software engineer Jon Shiring, have confirmed today they are launching a brand new game studio, which will be known as Gravity Well, which will focus on 'anti-crunch' practices, and hopes to 'shake up' AAA game development.
McCoy left Respawn after ten years recently, along with Shiring. In a statement on their new website, they stated they wanted to create a studio because of "how" they wanted to make games, focusing on feedback and ideas from the whole team.
More importantly, they want to eliminate crunch from the gaming industry, something that has highlighted as a real issue in recent years;
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.
To be fair to Respawn, however, they've been fairly good about crunch, with seasonal updates for Apex Legends delayed, avoiding burn-out.
However, the size of Respawn may have been a factor in their decision to open a new studio. Shiring stated that he felt studios with over 100 employees suffer creatively and that Gravity Well will try and avoid falling into the same trap.
It's now known what their first project will be, but their ambitions seem lofty - we'll be sure to keep an eye on any further news or developments.