It is Tuesday. You probably ate some cereal, went to work, and pretended to use the Force to open the automatic door at the grocery store – just like any other day. BioWare, meanwhile, ended an era. Specifically, Doctors Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka – the role-playing powerhouse’s co-founders – have left the building. Now then, I will briefly interrupt this message to read your mind. “Kickstarter, Kickstarter? Kickstarter! Kickstarterererer.” Congratulations, you’re thinking the same thing as everyone else on Earth. Unfortunately, based on their goodbye letters, the doctors seem to not only be done with BioWare, but videogames in general.
First up, Muzyka’s retiring from games altogether. He said exactly that in his letter, and then explained his next destination: social entrepreneurship.
“I feel the need now to move on to a new chapter in my career. With the growth of BioWare to multiple locations as part of a public company, following two decades of multiple successful product launches across many platforms and business models, I’ve largely personally achieved what I wanted in videogames; I now desire to take on a brand new entrepreneurial challenge. 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’s hoping to get involved with all sorts of charities and focus primarily on social liberties, human rights, education, healthcare, and animals. Obviously, his input at BioWare will be severely missed, but wow. Go get ‘em, Ray. I don’t think anyone can fault you for wanting to use your earnings to save the world.
Zeschuk, meanwhile, plans to take a bit of a breather. Among other things, his final word on game creation is a little less, er, final. “I’m not going to be working in games for a while,” he wrote – also noting, however, that “there’s a strong possibility that I won’t be back.” As for what he’ll be doing with those tiny slots in his schedule that used to read “Running one of the world’s most popular videogame companies,” well, in short, beer.
“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.”
“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. 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.”
Ahem. At any rate, BioWare’s obviously loaded with talent, so it’s not like Zeschuk and Muzyka just leaped off a sinking ship – SWTOR woes aside, anyway. But they have been steering the company since day one, and even-more-obviously, they were doing something very, very right. It’d be tempting to speculate that EA will start pulling the strings and take BioWare down the path from fan-loving Paragon to piggy-bank-bursting Renegade, but without knowing the internal politics of the company or how much pull the Doctors had in that respect, it’d be utterly baseless. So really, who knows what’s next for BioWare? Me, I’m pretty excited about Dragon Age III. And beyond that, well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.