Former Apex Legends Executive Producer, Drew McCoy and former Apex Legends lead software engineer, Jon Shiring – have announced their new studio, Gravity Well. They’re doing this with the goal to “shake things up” in big budget game development.
“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.”
While I like the idea, I don’t know how it will light a fire under anyone’s ass. Speaking for myself, I do better under pressure. I make my best work, and I know if there is no rush I will drag my feet for as long as possible. And on the other side of the coin, I agree with the health of your employees. They should love where they work, and their well-being should be a number one priority. When you’re comfortable you are able to create. And when you’re able to collaborate with individuals who are savages in their field, you create bangers.
I can’t help but think of a situation like this being like collecting unemployment. You get paid, and there really isn’t a rush from you to do anything. Because you know at the end of the week that free money is about to hit. No need to crunch to get this game finished, we can just keep extending. Which I’m cool with by the way – i’d rather wait for a full product than get a rushed, incomplete game.
I hope it’s not the case at Gravity Well – because I genuinely like the idea and I want Jon and Drew to succeed and create good stuff. But all it takes is one shitty person to derail everything. Hopefully this is the start of studios treating their creators right.