Google+

BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk retire

Shares

BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk are retiring, the developer announced today. The pair of doctors outlined their future plans outside the games industry and gave thanks on respective blog posts, and general manager of BioWare Edmonton and Montreal Aaryn Flynn detailed the Electronic Arts label’s future plans on his own.

Muzyka said he made the decision to retire from the industry in April 2012, and he plans to begin investing in entrepreneurs who show potential for positive social impact. Zeschuk said he will pursue his interest in craft beers mainly in an online interview show called The Beer Diaries, though he said if it does not work out he may eventually come back to games.

Zeschuk briefly referenced the controversy BioWare has recently received from players. “Sure we’ve had our disagreements with the fans (and them with us), but frankly I understand how that’s driven by passion and love of the games,” he said. “It’s exhilarating to consider how many lives we’ve touched with the entertainment we’ve created over the last 20 years.”

Flynn said the doctors, who founded BioWare in 1995, attended medical school together before pursuing a mutual passion in games, and their achievements were formally recognized with their induction into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame last year.

Flynn said BioWare will attempt to live up to the legacy of the doctors, with yesterday’s announcement of Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, plans for another full Mass Effect game, and a game set in a new fictional universe.

We Recommend

15 comments

  • Bercilak - September 19, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    Notice that this announcement comes almost *exactly* five years after EA's acquisition of Bioware's parent, VG Holdings. The five-year period was probably a buy-out option and/or retention clause in the agreement for EA's acquisition of VG Holdings. I'm not surprised that these two exercised it as soon as they could, or that they decided to sell their interest in VG Holdings five years ago. Consider: 1. They built a successful studio by making games that tell the same basic story over and over, the Hero's Journey, in different settings (and shame on you if you haven't read Joseph Campbell). 2. They got tired of doing it and/or realized they they were running out of new settings. 3. They had a lot of equity in a very valuable but private company which meant that they couldn't cash out very easily. 4. EA gave them a way to do just that, cash out, by offering to acquire VG Holdings (Bioware), probably for some combination of cash and EA stock. Now the doctors would have some cash and a lot of equity, but it would be equity they could easily convert to cash (by selling EA shares on the stock exchange). 5.In order to help protect the value of the Bioware brand, however--and their investment in it--EA probably demanded that the doctors continue in some figurehead role for five years as part of the acquisition. That's not an uncommon requirement in corporate acquisitions because it conveys the image of continuity and stability, which helps to preserve value. And, voila! Exactly five years later, Drs. Muzyka and Zeschuk coincidentally retire at the same time to "pursue other interests". Wish them well, people, but, by God, don't feel sorry for them. They did what they enjoyed doing for a while, they made their money, they knew when to get out, and they did. I wish them well, myself, but I'm also pissed off about all the bullshit they spewed over the last five years about their continued dedication to gaming and their passion for continuing to make great games with EA, which we now can see was little more than toeing the EA company line because they knew from the outset that they had to stick it out for five years and help protect the brand. Thanks, Drs., you gave us five great games. No thanks, however, for all of your shitty sequels and your obviously disingenuous corporate propaganda over the last five years. How does it feel to be sell-outs?
  • MayorOfAmerica - September 19, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    Gamers on the internet, harshest critics of everything, EVER.
  • dragonjim - September 19, 2012 12:46 a.m.

    Change might do bioware good or could destroy it
  • RedOutlive. - September 18, 2012 8:31 p.m.

    Not surprising, the recent track record of BioWare has been questionable at best. Mass Effect series drop in writing quality for example in ME2 and ME3.
  • CROZILLA - September 18, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    Plenty of people leave successful careers, jobs, and businesses they've started all the time for different pastures. There probably isn't a bigger picture conspiracy going on on folks. They're leaving games altogether, its just time for something new. Otherwise don't you think they'd just start a new company altogether? And I don't see why people are shocked that they're trying something new again seeing that both of these guys are MD's who started a video game company. Kudos to them both, do what makes you happy, people.
  • angelusdlion - September 18, 2012 6:41 p.m.

    Thank you for being the voice of reason here Cro.
  • larkan - September 19, 2012 12:06 a.m.

    I don't think it's a conspiracy, I think they just figured out that the last few years for them have been successful but lacking the originality of games like KOTOR and Jade Empire. Now that EA has a firm grasp on every aspect of their games, they've made a lot of money, and the studio has grown beyond a scope that the both of them can handle, they're moving on before things start to go downhill, because let's face it, it's coming soon. Also, notice that he retired in April, right around the time that Bioware announced they were doing the extended cut DLC for ME3, hmmm
  • kevinw729 - September 18, 2012 5:55 p.m.

    Can we expect any coverage on the reasons for the recent high profile exodus from consumer gaming in ANY of the consumer game media? Or is it best to wait till this move is all over and the last person standing to report the situation... as they turn the lights off!
  • BladedFalcon - September 18, 2012 3 p.m.

    "Oh no! EA has no influence whatsoever on Bioware!" They said "Bioware will remain exactly the same as prior to being bought by EA!" They said. As if it had not been obvious enough with the obviously rushed releases of both DA2 and ME3, and the whole thing with multiplayer and day one DLC. But this further cements the notion that EA is obviously tampering rather greatly with the company. The founders of such a recognized brand do not simply walk away from their own baby unless they are being forced to, or it is no longer profitable enough for them.
  • ParagonT - September 18, 2012 4:37 p.m.

    To add: Yeah, that's like saying "Hey! We have this well recognized brand that is doing good, but were going to move on... You know... because we're just mysterious and cool like that..." Says no one ever. The only time I see that happen is when something goes amiss or is forcing you out. Seems fishy. Would a man walk away from his booming business that he makes a good living off of? Doubt it unless he foreseen something or something is making him leave. Glad to know I wasn't the only one on here that caught that sentiment.
  • Balaska - September 18, 2012 10:50 p.m.

    If you are talking about the ME3 MP, it's actually very good, I am personally glad they put that in.
  • BladedFalcon - September 19, 2012 5:19 a.m.

    I never said it wasn't, I've also played it, and I did enjoy it for a while, which is something considering I dislike MP in general. But that was never my point. Regardless of the final quality of the MP, the fact is that the reason why they developed it in the first place was because MP has become a major selling point for a game, and big companies want to put it in their games regardless of whether it fits or not. And despite whatever claims Bioware made to the contrary, ME wasn't a franchise that started with MP in mind, it was never it's focus. But then came along EA, and, same as it happened with Dead Space 2, they eventually had to put MP in this game as well. My whole point is that the influence of the company being under EA now is clear, despite the constant official claims of Bioware saying otherwise.
  • e1337prodigy - September 18, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    Clearly not a passion for games then, or they will stick with it and enjoy it.
  • samsneeze - September 18, 2012 2:56 p.m.

    Last nail in the coffin it seems.
  • ultimatepunchrod - September 18, 2012 1:48 p.m.

    Wow. That's pretty crazy. I hope they are successful in their new pursuits.

Showing 1-15 of 15 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000

OR…

Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.