Greg Zuschuk Post-Bioware Update
On September 18, 2012, BioWare founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk announced their retirement from the gaming industry. Muzyka set off to pursue “social impact investing,” and Zeschuk to work on an unexpected new project… The Beer Diaries.
In an interview with Polygon, Zeschuk offered some insight into his and Muzyka’s journey away from BioWare and into new ventures, insisting that there wasn’t some grand scheme they had collaborated on to leave the company. He said:
“We didn’t both hatch our plots and then reveal them to each another. I think that there was just ongoing conversation that was kind of we both felt it was the right time to move on.”
“I just felt like my passion was waning,” Zeschuk said. But what made him lose that passion? Was it because of BioWare’s sale to EA, Star Wars: The Old Republic’s failing to live up to expectations, or the Mass Effect ending backlash? Zeschuk explained:
“Everything’s a factor. There’s nothing that’s not a factor, but there’s no single one thing. I think the best way I can describe is: Do the same thing for twenty years and it’s very, very intense. It’s very high pressure. It’s very high stress. It’s challenging. It’s sometimes rewarding and sometimes it’s not. And you just get tired of it after awhile. That is probably the easiest way to for me to describe it. Sometimes you just need to change things.
“One of the few things I find kind of funny is the responses of the fans, because they sort of respond that they are kind of mad at us for leaving because they think we owe them more games. You know it’s sad I wish I could deliver on that, but I don’t think I would be as good as I was in that space historically. Like I said, the fire wasn’t there.”
In spring 2012, Muzyka and Zeschuk were working on how they could leave the company without damaging it. Zeschuk said:
“I think that was sort of a fundamental thing. The reason we contemplated it and executed it over a longer period of time than a lot of folks do, was simply we wanted to make sure it was setup to be successful. We still love the people, love the games, love the company, it just had to succeed without us and we wanted to make sure there were great leaders in place to make that happen.”