It's the end of an era at BioWare, as co-founders Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka are retiring from the company they founded nearly two decades ago.
In separate messages posted on the studio's official website, Zeschuk and Muzyka explained their decisions, as well as talked about what they would be doing next.
"After nearly two decades in videogames, I've decided to move on to pursue an entirely different set of challenges," Muzyka explained. "This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make; after thinking about it for many months, I made the decision to retire from videogames back in early April 2012 - at that time I provided six months' notice to EA, to help enable a solid transition for my teams at BioWare."
Muzyka is retiring from games entirely, and is stepping into the field of social impact investment with the goal of helping make the world a better place. Specific causes in which he will be getting more involved include education, health care, and animal rights.
"I can attest that the best is yet to come; my teams at all of BioWare's studios have many more fantastic products on the horizon for our great community of fans."
"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," Muzyka explained."
Zeschuk is also stepping away from the gaming industry, saying, "I'm not going to be working in games for a while, and there's a strong possibility that I won't be back." In the short-term, Zeschuk said he will spend time with family and friends and pursue his passion for craft beer, including working on a web-based interview show called The Beer Diaries.
"After nearly twenty years working at BioWare I've decided it's time to move on and pursue something new," Zeschuk said. "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. 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."
As for the studio's future, both developers expressed faith in the team that had been assembled, with Zeschuk saying, "BioWare's foundation in its core values, passion and professionalism remains in the very fiber of the company. One thing I'm confident of is that we've built a great team that will continue to succeed long after I'm gone." Muzyka added, "From what I've seen over the past few months, I can attest that the best is yet to come; my teams at all of BioWare's studios have many more fantastic products on the horizon for our great community of fans."
"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."
In their notes, both doctors also thanked each other, BioWare's employees, the fans, and Electronic Arts, which acquired BioWare (along with Pandemic Studios) in October 2007.
"Working with John Riccitiello, Frank Gibeau, Peter Moore and the rest of the EA team was a great experience and their support was essential in us being able to achieve our creative goals with Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic," Zeschuk said. "Thanks to the team at Electronic Arts we had an amazing run. I've had the great fortune of making a number of lifelong friends within EA that I'll always cherish; happily I leave this experience with great people to remember it by."
In his own statement, BioWare Edmonton and Montreal general manager Aaryn Flynn thanked the departing doctors for their work creating the studio's culture and leadership team, then assured fans that the remaining developers would carry on their work.
"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," Flynn said. "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."