BioWare’s tumultuous 2012 has reached an unexpected climax. Whether it’s a peak or a nadir depends on your respective. If you prefer the BioWare of 2012, a mass production studio streamlining its heady role-playing games into action packed Hollywood-style blockbusters, then today is yet another sign of progress. If you are a fan of the BioWare of yesteryear that poured its creative effort into a single original project after another, then this is the end of an era. Founders Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka have resigned from BioWare.
Both Zeschuk and Muzyka released statements on BioWare’s official blog. Muzyka said that he made the decision to leave BioWare in April of this year, feeling that after 20 years in the gaming industry, he had achieved all of the goals he’d set out to. “I remain passionate about video games—they’ll definitely remain one of my favorite hobbies,” said Muzyka, “The decision to leave the video game industry is hard to explain, but essentially I feel similar now to how I felt in the early days of BioWare over the decade post-medical school, while was still practicing as an ER physician, back when I first realized that the world of video games was my next career ‘chapter.’ Two wonderful decades working at BioWare and later EA was the result of that decision.”
If any fans are sad that the man behind Baldur’s Gate is leaving video games, they can take comfort in the fact that he’s leaving to do good work. Muzyka is now pursuing new opportunities in the field of social entrepreneurship, for profit businesses that work towards goals that benefit the community in addition to making money. “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.”
Zeschuk, meanwhile, plans to take a much-needed break. Whether he’ll return to the gaming industry any time soon remains in the air. “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,” said Zeschuk, “Some of you will be curious what I’ll be doing next, and I can state that I’m not going to be working in games for a while, and there’s a strong possibility that I won’t be back. After my departure I’m going to be spending significant time with my 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.” It’s this writer’s opinion that Dr. Greg Zeschuk is pursuing work just as notable as Dr. Muzyka.