This weekend at PAX South, Apple and Ubisoft Motion Pictures showed off the first episode of Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet, an upcoming Apple TV+ comedy about a game development studio. The series stars writer and executive producer Rob McElhenney (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Ian Grimm, the creative director behind the fictional MMORPG at the center of the show. Also in attendance at the premiere was Ashly Burch, who plays Q&A tester Rachel, and Charlotte Nicdao, who portrays a programmer named Poppy.
In a short Q&A after the premiere, McElhenney said that while Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet is a workplace comedy, he wanted to capture the realities of modern game development. Those realities include crunch and engaging with negative fans and influencers.
"To make it feel authentic, we wanted to make sure that we're capturing those things that studios themselves are really grappling with beyond just the interpersonal dynamics among the employees, but specifically things like crunch, which we deal with in a very real and big way at the end of the season. When you realize that there are people who are working 60, 70 hours a week to make the games possible, and one of the ramifications of that was the fallout from that and what does that do to the psyche of the employee and individual?" McElhenney said on panel.
McElhenney took a tour of Ubisoft's Montreal headquarters to get a feel for how real developers live. That tour not only provided inspiration for the nine-episode series, it also led to the creation of a new character that wasn't originally in the script.
"The community manager was born out of one of the fact finding missions from when I went up to Montreal and was talking to people," McElhenney said. "I met one of the community managers on one of the games, and this guy looked like he’d been hit by a truck. His job is to field incoming... communication from players, and they tend not to come with positivity. He took that job very seriously and recognized that he was the front lines."
Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet will appear on Apple TV+ on February 7. Apple has already renewed the show for a second season ahead of its premiere.