BioWare Founders Retire After Nearly 20 Years with Company

In a pair of farewell letters posted on BioWare’s Social Network website today, co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk announced they’re leaving the company after nearly 20 years.

Both founders say they’re leaving the company to pursue new opportunities and challenges, after having worked in video games since they founded the company with their own money in 1995. The Doctors, as they’ve been colloquially known for their medical backgrounds, each provided different reasons for leaving.

Zeschuk writes that he’ll be moving away from games “for a while, and there’s a strong possibility that I won’t be back.” Instead, he’ll be pursuing creativity in another realm about which he’s passionate: 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,” Zeschuk writes. “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.”

Zeschuk noted that over the years, the passion he had for working in video games has diminished, which is part of the reason for his retirement. “I’ve reached an unexpected point in my life where I no longer have the passion that I once did for the company, for the games, and for the challenge of creation,” he writes.

Muzyka also says that he intends to leave the video game industry altogether, and in his letter states that he hopes to invest in and mentor new entrepreneurs.

“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,” he says.

He also points to pursuing new challenges as the reason he’s moving on. “It’s not often that you can truly say you were able to pursue and achieve your dream job; I know how lucky I am to be able to say that now, in my early 40s,” Muzyka writes.

The big question remaining now is, how will this affect BioWare going forward? The company has faced some big challenges recently in the controversy surrounding Mass Effect 3 and the struggles of Star Wars: The Old Republic. We’ll keep an eye out for more information as it becomes available.

Via Polygon.

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10 Comments on BioWare Founders Retire After Nearly 20 Years with Company

R.J.

On September 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Woah. That is some pretty big news. Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but they both speak of basically not having a passion for games anymore, which seems to me like they were tired of the company they founded being crushed by EA. Other prominent people at Bioware left the company either right after the sold to EA or not long after they made one game with EA as a publisher, and the general vibe was that Bioware just wasn’t the same. Like I said, I might be reading too much into this, but it seems like they regret that decision to sell to EA.

DrChannington

On September 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Lost the passion for video games? That’s depressing. :(

SweetPea

On September 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I have to agree with R.J. here, maybe it sounds easy just to blame EA, but it does feel that way.
And there’s the (deserved) hate BioWare got after DA2,ME3. They were once popular but people really lost their trust in them. I’m sure that also had a role in Mr Muzyka’s decision.

On another topic: They also announced the new singleplayer Omega DLC for ME3 and that they’re working on a new full game in the Mass Effect universe.

Eddie

On September 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm

ditto RJ and SweetPea, definitely does not read well into an organization I already had little confidence in, and I am not even a little excited about any of the new mass effect stuff they also announced today in an attempt to cushion the blow

Blarty

On September 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm

As plausible that this is down to the evil clutches of EA, it’s also equally possible they just got pissed off with the ing and ever increasing demands of gamers (particularly in this gen).

Kevin

On September 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Sad news, and I think the Docs are coming back to their senses….. that this getting in bed with EA thing was a terrible idea.

Within the next 2 years, watch the pillaging of Bioware commence. The company is no longer of any use to EA.

The gaming world loses two legends today.

Aedelric

On September 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Was this spurred by recent universal hatred towards the Mass Effect 3 ending and their previous failure that was Dragon Age II? Their six months notice was just a week or so after the Mass Effect Ending fiasco started, the sceptic in me wants to believe their is more to this than meets the eyes.

Lets be honest, Bioware has gradually been going downhill the last couple of years with them in charge. Either the company just got the shake-up it desperately needed or it is going to roll much further down that hill.

Axetwin

On September 19, 2012 at 12:28 am

I agree with just about everyone else that it sounds like theyre trying to make it a point not say theyre leaving because of EA. I mean, leaving because you want to pursue your passion of beer, if I may quote The Miz for a moment; “Really? Really??”

@ Aedelric From a business standpoint, Mass Effect 3 was a critical success. Since DragonAge 2 had mixed reactions. You dont just throw 20 years of your life away because of what may or may not be considered a couple missteps. You do however walk away from it when all of a sudden a bigger more powerful entity steps in and tells you that the last 20 years have been a waste and everything you have in store for your company is wrong. Then this entity begins to systematically take control of everything so they can change things, pervert things, destroy things just so everything you’ve spent the last 20 years of your life working will now meet their distorted idea of what they think people want.

When you release a press statement saying that you are walking away from the last 20 years of your life, what do you tell them? You be as honest as you legally can, so you say you’ve lost your passion for the business and now you wish to pursue a different course.

Goodbye, BioWare.

On September 19, 2012 at 4:16 am

They’re jumping the ship before it sinks, it makes sense. Let the hacks Hudson and Gamble continue to rake in the 20% equity or whatever it is they receive for selling their souls for the next couple of years, then when what’s left of BioWare’s deteriorating reputation has finally decayed we’ll see who’s left. I dare say Muzyka and Zeschuk will have already formed a phoenix company by then. Jessica Merizan will have finally given up her verbal fellatio policy by that point as well and taken the more sensible option. BioWare will be remembered the same way as Origin Systems.

Red Menace

On September 20, 2012 at 2:04 am

BioWare, Westwood, Maxis. Never forget.