Alberta's BioWare co-founders call it quits

A scene from BioWare's Mass Effect 3. (Handout)

A scene from BioWare's Mass Effect 3. (Handout)

Matt Dykstra, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:23 PM ET

EDMONTON – Amidst several new projects, BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk announced Tuesday they would be retiring from the fortuitous Edmonton video-game development firm.

Since 1995, the pair have grown the local company into a multi-million dollar video-game production powerhouse, with huge names like Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

However, it seems the University of Alberta medical school graduates feel they're ready to move on from BioWare.

They announced their decisions to step down from the company in posts on the company's official blog Tuesday.

"After nearly two decades in video games, I've decided to move on to pursue an entirely different set of challenges," Muzyka wrote. "This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make."

"This decision isn't without significant pain and regret," agreed Zeschuk in a separate post. "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."

"I remain passionate about video games — they'll definitely remain one of my favourite hobbies," Muzyka wrote. "I see tremendous opportunity ahead for BioWare and its parent company Electronic Arts."

Muzyka will be pursuing brand new "entrepreneurial challenges" and Zeschuk said he plans to continue work on his online web show, The Beer Diaries, where he interviews notable brewers and showcases their beers.

Responding to Muzyka's and Zeschuk's departure, BioWare Edmonton and Montreal general manager Aaryn Flynn said the studio is "solid and ready to embark on a whole new era of games."

Flynn pointed to the recently announced Dragon Age III: Inquisition as one new game in development, and also hinted at a follow-up game to this year's critically acclaimed Mass Effect 3.

BioWare, founded in Edmonton, was ranked as one of Canada's fastest growing companies in 2005 and named one of Alberta's top employers in 2008.

They employ more than 800 people across six studios and have made over a dozen popular video games including Star Wars: The Old Republic and the Mass Effect series.

BioWare was founded in 1995 by Muzyka, Zeschuk and Augustine Yip, who graduated with medical degrees from the University of Alberta together and promptly began to develop video games rather than pursue medicine full-time.

In 2007, the BioWare was purchased by Electronic Arts alongside California-based Pandemic Studios in a $620-million deal.

matthew.dykstra@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @SunMattDykstra


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