BioWare Founders Announce Retirement

BioWare announced the departure of co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk today on its website. The two, informally known as the "BioWare doctors", first founded the company in 1995. Over the years the company became well-regarded for its Baldur's Gate and NeverWinter Nights franchises, as well as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Over the past five years, BioWare's been best known for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. But the studio's games have not been without controversy: Dragon Age II remains divisive to the point where Dragon Age III, announced only yesterday, is already a point of contention. Likewise, Mass Effect 3, released earlier this year, stirred up hot feelings over its ending, to the point where BioWare released free DLC that reworked the last 10 minutes of the game. BioWare's massive MMORPG undertaking, Star Wars: The Old Republic, also launched to good reviews, but quickly lost subscribers and is converting from a standard monthly subscription model to a full free-to-play model later this year.

Both Musyka and Zeschuk have posted letters explaining their reasons for departing from BioWare. Zeschuk is leaving the world of games for another world entirely, he explains in his departure letter:

After my departure I'm going to be spending significant time with family and friends, as well as pursuing some personal passion-driven projects related to craft beer. The main project I will be working on is a web-based interview show called The Beer Diaries where I interview notable brewers and showcase their beers. If things go well, I'll work on other beer-related shows, apps and projects. If not, I'll have drunk a lot of tasty beers and may be back in games or even something else completely different. Ultimately time will tell.

Muzyka, meanwhile, is planning to move into a new entreprenurial field with social impact:

I've largely personally achieved what I wanted in videogames; I now desire to take on a brand new entrepreneurial challenge. I believe strongly in the power of free enterprise to enable sustainable change, so my next ‘chapter' will likely focus on an entirely new industry, something exciting, different and frankly downright scary – investing in and mentoring new entrepreneurs, and more specifically, the field of social/impact investing. There's a good description of the goals of this form of entrepreneurship here. Impact investment, or social entrepreneurship, can range from simply thinking about social goals along with the usual business profit goals, all the way to a dedicated focus on a social entrepreneurship portfolio with the social impact defined as the primary goal. For me, getting involved in social impact investment stems from the simple hope of helping the world to be a better place. To that end, I'll also be spending time getting involved with more charities in education, health care, and animal rights, areas where my wife and I've typically focused our charitable donations in the past. I am also spending more time learning about the work being done to defend human rights and civil liberty across the world. Net, I am passionate about both entrepreneurship and social liberty, and I want to find a way to pursue both of them.

Both Muzyka and Zeschuk have high praise for the teams they have worked with at BioWare. "The people I work with now, and that I have worked with in the past, have inspired me and really made all of the challenges we've collectively faced over the years worthwhile," Zeschuck said. "We have been blessed with tremendous success over the years at BioWare, and the reason is simply down to a large number of great people doing great work."

Muzyka likewise added a heartfelt thanks to the teams he has worked with at BioWare over the years.

Each also thanked the other and the fans of BioWare games, and both had positive things to say about EA, which acquired BioWare in 2007.


Comments

    By positive thing you mean "EA made us rich, and didn't sue us when we both left as soon as our contractually obligated 5 years were up".

    Mmm craft beer.

      Haha...does America really need more 'craft beer'?

        I thought that initially, then I realised he meant he was going to go around drinking it all. Nice.

          Much better...and well played.

    Just how many Pre-EA Bioware employees are still in Bioware?? If there are only a few, can it really be called Bioware anymore?

    Anyway, i lost most of my faith in Bioware when they allowed themselves to be bought out by EA and then promptly lost all interest when Drew Karpyshyn (the lead writer for KOTOR 1 and Mass Effect 1) left before TOR was released.

    The name "Bioware" has none of it's value left if you have played all of thier games since they started till now. Frankly ME3 was the last Bioware game i will ever buy, and i traded that straight after it's infamous ending.

    Best of luck to both those guys.
    Bad news for Bioware though, hopefully it turns out differently than when Rare's founders (Tim and Chris Stamper) left.

      I think in the case of Bioware, a lot of the core talent had already left. Drew Karpyshyn was a big loss.

    Certainly not one of the hysterical "Bioware is getting shit, take me back to 1999!" crowd, but there'd have to be some worry about where Bioware heads from here.

    In other words, now our five-year contract with EA is up we're quitting and going to find other things to do for a bit while the non-compete is operational.

    Just let me know when you guys are ready for the Baldur's Gate 3 kickstarter.

      ^ this

        I would be in the highest tier of donation if it did go up. Once in a life time.

    Just watch as people start claiming that BioWare is now dead without them and that EA drove them out.

    Best of luck to both of them. They did something great with BioWare and I hope they have similar success in their new ventures.

      Nah, Bioware has been dead for a while, this just confirms that not even the founders have faith in the company anymore

        Hysterical #1.

      Bioware was already dead - a lot of the key personnel from the pre-EA days were already gone.

    BioBeers? I'm down with that, imagine their release schedule!
    Shattered Stout
    Brewer's Gate
    Microbrewery Nights
    Bar Wars: Knights of the Hop Republic
    Yeast Effect
    Dragon Ale: Origins

      That's a little too close to yeast infection for my liking

      Post of the year

    The Beer Diaries sounds like an awesome way to spend your life.

    Not much left of Bioware anymore. Been a good run but the brand has truly lost the people behind it now.

    Thanks for the great games, characters and memories! (Minus DAII :P )

    And to think. The both could of written themselves Obi-One-Kenobi endings if they had of made Knights of the Old Republic 3 :P

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