Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka have announced they are departing BioWare, which they both helped co-found in 1995. Furthermore, both announced their intentions to move on from the gaming industry altogether, and for Zeschuk at least, the decision was prompted by a bit of burnout.
“This decision isn’t without significant pain and regret, but it’s also something I know I need to do, for myself and my family,” said Zeschuk. “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. For the people I have had the privilege of working with, however, my passion burns as brightly as it did the day we started. 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. 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. Successful people or companies have to admit luck also plays a part in their success, and it certainly did for us; a few times over the years we made the right game at the right time and success flowed as a result. When we got it right, it was like a hole in one or a home run; it was a magical feeling and incomparable in positive impact for everyone involved.”
They both expressed pride in their accomplishments over nearly 20 years at BioWare and had an equal amount of gratitude for the various passionate people that they’ve worked with. They also talked about their career choices after BioWare.
“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,” wrote Muzyka. “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.”
“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,” said Zeschuk. “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.”
The successor of sorts to much of what Muzyka and Zeschuk were responsible for, general manager of BioWare Edmonton and Montreal Aaryn Flynn, said the company would continue on course with Dragon Age 3, make more content for Mass Effect 3 and said that they’re looking to create a whole new game universe.
“As the GM for Edmonton and Montreal, I know that creative people are delivering new content and gameplay for established franchises, and new games that go in new directions,” said Flynn. “Ray and Greg built BioWare to last. They’ve always known their retirement would come one day, so they developed a team of people who would ensure their standards and culture would endure. We’ll humbly carry that torch and continue learning in the process.”
“To the Doctors: I wish you the very best, and we will always honor your legacy. The games we develop will always share your unique creativity and steadfast integrity. Now it’s up to us to show the world what you taught us,” Flynn concluded.