BioWare Co-Founders Retire

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Nimcha:

LiquidGrape:
Oh do grow up. Already with the conspiracy theories and cries for what darkness is to come?

I wish them both the very best in their new pursuits, and I thank them for their contribution to games. I think that's really all that needs to be said.

A levelheaded comment on Bioware news? On the first page?

There is hope!

:D

Telling people to "Grow up" for posting "conspiracy theories" before any had been made is hardly level headed.

daibakuha:

Mr.Tea:

What conspiracy theories? No post has yet said "only crap is coming now" at the time of your post.

The company's co-founders are leaving and another company owns what is left. i.e: BioWare is now just a name, regardless of what games come next.

Have you read the responses? "RIP Bioware" "Only a shell of what you once were" "Now only a matter of time before it dies a slow and painful death"

Knock it off.

Hard to knock it off when it's true. Learn some reading comprehension, it's all there. And while the split may be amicable (I doubt it), the hard truth of the matter is that a good deal of ownership and decision making will now be left in the hands of EA - a company notorious for gutting up other studios and splitting them up for no particular reason. (See: Bullfrog).

Andy Chalk:
BioWare Co-Founders Retire

And no tears were shed.

Andy Chalk:
but you simply cannot overstate the impact that Zeschuk and Muzyka had on the industry.

Unfortunately, not every impact is good. In this case the impact was bad

Andy Chalk:
they rejuvenated and reshaped the RPG genre

Yes I agree. But then they, ironically, proceeded to dumb down the genre to awesome button gameplay, style over substance, and pathetic pandering to the fans with their romances.

And for that I say: Good riddance!

Imbechile:
-snip-

Hey hey hey!

While Bioware's latest offerings could be charitably called 'wattered down' and uncharitably called 'piles of dross sprinkled with good characters' I would rather remember them for their earlier work, like Neverwinter Nights and Baulder's Gate.

Remember the ill deeds along with the good and let them be judged accordingly.

crazyrabbits:

Gunner 51:
All this hipster stuff about Bioware RIP / selling out / being a shell of itself is enough to make a veteran gamer like me reach for the sick bucket. The ire that Bioware has attracted on these forums is disproportionate especially considering that there are far more people deserving it. (Like publishers who bleed everything dry and destroy all they touch only to move onto another company.)

I remember back in those "halcyon days" of 2009 when Bioware was first reported as being acquired (by proxy) by EA. Everyone was predicting exactly the course of events that occurred - games having less effort being put into them, corporate oversight diluting creativity, games and staff members being marginalized for profit...

If you really think this is disproportionate, then you fail to understand EA's history of gutting well-known (and, in many cases, very profitable) developers. The cases of Bullfrog, Westwood, Origin and (to an extent) Maxis are still remembered.

You reference "publishers who bleed everything dry" and fail to mention what happened to the Ultima series? Or C&C? Or The Sims? As a veteran gamer, you should be at the very latest aware of what EA has done to its divisions over the last two decades.

I cannot and will not dispute that EA and their ilk have diluted creativity and marginalized everything for profit. But the question remains what can gamers do to stop it. Sadly, there's only with thing us gamers can do - and it's not pretty.

Stop buying their products - Boycotts work, but it all depends on the strength on those doing the boycotting. I haven't purchased a single Activision game in years. (Two years, actually :)) I've worked out that Activision is now lacking about 550 in the past two years because I alone stuck to my guns. (Based upon 6 games per year over two years.)

If I can deny Activision that kind of money alone, just imagine the look on John Riccitiello's face if gamers did this to EA for a maybe two months. Two months of no money for EA will surely make them sit up and get talking with gamers.

Well, the song can finally be played. Thank you gentlemen, for what good you have brought to all of us gamers.

Hate to say this, but being owned by EA and having the two lead visionaries / creative leads leaving is a bad combination if past history tells us anything. I think that's pretty much the end of BioWare I'm afraid...

Nimcha:
Maybe they got tired of all the hate they got for just making games.

Probably or rather they realized how completely infantile their fanbase was and decided to work somewhere where people don't have the emotional and intellectual maturity of a spoiled 6 year old.

Despite my obviously loathing and vitriol towards Bioware since Mass Effect 2 as my posts about them will show I'm still sad to see this happen. But this has been a long time coming. Bioware has in truth been dead long before this. I winder how long EA will keep parading its corpse around before finally dropping this farce.
I'll choose to remember Muzyka and Zeschuk for the great games they have been apart of (Baldur's Gate 1, Baldur's Gate 2, KotOR, Jade Empire, Neverwinter Nights, Mass Effect 1) rather than the shitty games they have been apart of the last few years (Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2, SWTOR).

/sigh

Yes with such dedicated fans that would never possibly lash out over something completely baseless or logic defying, is it really any wonder these guys do not have passion to create games any more?

Good luck guys... we will see you soon in your own company. They always come back. Damned junkie developers.

Okay guys, BioWare isn't dead. Yeah, the founders are gone, but the writers, artists, programmers and everyone else are still there.

Yeah, it's sad to see one of the last two great game companies lose it's founders, but they're still going to be around, BioWare is still going to make masterpieces, and gamers are going to continue whining about anything with the letters E and A stamped on the front like the petulant idiots they are.

If anything changes, it's going to be minute changes that will be blown WAAAAAAAY the fuck out of proportion.

And even if BioWare tanks, Blizzard is still around. Obsidian is still around. Treyarch is still around, and Bethesda is still around.

So that's 4 big game designers still worth a damn even if the fifth somehow manages to tank.

And I can only speak for myself, but if BioWare does tank, you know what I won't do?

However, if there's one thing I AM afraid of, is if BioWare does go down the toilet (again, highly unlikely) then every screaming asshole who did nothing but carry on about how shit they were will suddenly turn around and claim "BioWare was teh greatest thing evar, and you EA basturds ruined it!" as if it came right the fuck out of nowhere.

Gunner 51:

crazyrabbits:

Gunner 51:
All this hipster stuff about Bioware RIP / selling out / being a shell of itself is enough to make a veteran gamer like me reach for the sick bucket. The ire that Bioware has attracted on these forums is disproportionate especially considering that there are far more people deserving it. (Like publishers who bleed everything dry and destroy all they touch only to move onto another company.)

I remember back in those "halcyon days" of 2009 when Bioware was first reported as being acquired (by proxy) by EA. Everyone was predicting exactly the course of events that occurred - games having less effort being put into them, corporate oversight diluting creativity, games and staff members being marginalized for profit...

If you really think this is disproportionate, then you fail to understand EA's history of gutting well-known (and, in many cases, very profitable) developers. The cases of Bullfrog, Westwood, Origin and (to an extent) Maxis are still remembered.

You reference "publishers who bleed everything dry" and fail to mention what happened to the Ultima series? Or C&C? Or The Sims? As a veteran gamer, you should be at the very latest aware of what EA has done to its divisions over the last two decades.

I cannot and will not dispute that EA and their ilk have diluted creativity and marginalized everything for profit. But the question remains what can gamers do to stop it. Sadly, there's only with thing us gamers can do - and it's not pretty.

Stop buying their products - Boycotts work, but it all depends on the strength on those doing the boycotting. I haven't purchased a single Activision game in years. (Two years, actually :)) I've worked out that Activision is now lacking about 550 in the past two years because I alone stuck to my guns. (Based upon 6 games per year over two years.)

If I can deny Activision that kind of money alone, just imagine the look on John Riccitiello's face if gamers did this to EA for a maybe two months. Two months of no money for EA will surely make them sit up and get talking with gamers.

The sad part is that if gamers really did want EA to make better games (they don't, they just want to bitch and moan about it) then BioWare was the go-to company to buy games from.

And money, while corrupting, is an honest being. It is the only thing that doesn't lie (the money itself). EA will listen to gamers whine and cry about too many First Person Shooters and sports games, but all they have to do is look at the success of games like Battlefield and MADDEN to know that's all a load of horse shit.

When gamers cry about first person shooters being too bland and samey and they don't want them anymore, yet games like Battlefield and Call of Duty keep breaking sales records every time they get released, that makes gamers either wrong, or just whining for the sake of whining. No boycott from gamers ever makes any sense, because of one thing:

They will buy games from EA, just so they can make up some bullshit reason to feel ripped off, then they can cry about it on the internet. They do it so they can complain, because gamers love to complain. Complaining is easy and makes you feel like the victim of a big corporation. When really all they are is stupid with their own money.

A sucker is born every minute, and they will soon be parted with their money.

EA is a greedy company, but not to the cartoonish degree that gamer culture would have you believe. They claim it's Monty Burns, when EA is really more like a sneaky phone company that charges you System Access Fees.

CAPTCHA: Good Grief

Even the captcha is tired of this shit.

Mycroft Holmes:
Thread title says they are retiring. But: "After nearly twenty years working at BioWare I've decided it's time to move on and pursue something new." says, 'I'm quitting to continue working but on something else that isn't Bioware/EA related.' Sounds like someone is trying hard to spin the news to me.

I think the title means retiring from making games.

Muzyka said he intends to become more involved with educational, health care and animal rights charities, while Zeschuk said he wants to pursue some "personal passion-driven projects related to craft beer." Alas, we shouldn't expect a return to the business of making games from either of them anytime soon; Zeschuk in particular said there's a "strong possibility" that he won't ever be back.

So one of them wants to do charity stuff and the other wants to make beer.

EDIT: Reading their actual blog posts, Ray Muzyka specifically says, "I made the decision to retire from videogames back in early April 2012" and Greg Zeschuk says "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."

Before we get too far down the EA-hating road, here's a quote from each of their goodbye posts:

Ray Muzyka:
The past five+ years at EA have been very good for me personally. I've learned a lot about navigating successfully within a larger publicly traded company, working with - and continually being inspired by - a large, passionate team across many locations. My teams and I have benefited tremendously from the mentorship, wisdom and continuous strong support of EA's leadership team in EA's President Frank Gibeau, COO Peter Moore and CEO John Riccitiello, among many others; the company and its management team have been consistently supportive of BioWare's culture and commitment to quality and creativity.

Greg Zeschuk:
I'd also like to thank EA for the amazing support we've received in recent years. 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. 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.

Whether or not you think they're being sincere, they didn't have to say anything about EA in their goodbyes.

Way to go internet whining, you just assisted in driving two of the medium's auteurs out of the industry.

In other words EA crushed their spirits to the point that they no longer even want to work in video games any more. Can't say I blame them after watching EA rape their baby over and over whilst laughing all the way to the bank.

Still glad you signed up with EA boys?

the end of an era. I'm sure they saw too much changing and their games becoming too generic.

Woulda rather see than continue with a company that is not under corporate stranglehold.

Of course, the gradualy degenerating quality of Bioware games might not have been solely due to EA. Maybe they realy did run out of steam. After some 2 decades. Nothing to do with EA at all.

However, ill be going with the vastly more likely explaination here. Damn you EA burn and die in deadly fiery death!

Greg 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

Ya don't fucking say! I totally couldn't tell from the product you've been putting out as of late.

You sold your baby to Satan for wretched mammon. You raised up the RPG genre, and then you dashed it against rocks. I don't even care about the ending of Mass Effect 3, a bad ending to a game is sad sure, but the bastardizations of the RPG genre that are Mass Effect 2 and 3 and Dragon Age 2 are beyond sacrilege

I'm not sure I can ever forgive you for what you did to your own creation.

Oh well, at least now I can hate Bioware unreservedly without a single pang of guilt. Any semblance of what they once were has been purged.

CardinalPiggles:
It's not like these were the only good employees Bioware had guys, I'm sure they're still capable of creating good games.

Why?

They haven't since the release of Dragon Age 1

Thank you for all the two of you have done to advance games and building one of my favorite studios of all time.

The industry will never be the same without you Greg and Ray, you will be missed.

I like how people still cling onto the notion that Bioware as a studio still exists. 'Bioware Group' as a division of EA does indeed exist in name BUT that subdivision does not even remotely resemble the studio people grew to love.

Bioware has been merged with so many studios that EA has bought and Mutilated (most noteably Mythic (which they 'merged' into bioware) and Pandemic (which they effectively closed)] and also been split intodivisions (Bioware Mythic (later 'restructed', Bioware Austin) that EA is essentially stapling Bioware's good name to ALL their RPG/MMO projects.

Its a farce, blatant name-mining, to think anything with the word 'Bioware' on the box does not mean "EA integrated RPG/MMO division, Team X"

Bhaalspawn:

The sad part is that if gamers really did want EA to make better games (they don't, they just want to bitch and moan about it) then BioWare was the go-to company to buy games from.

And money, while corrupting, is an honest being. It is the only thing that doesn't lie (the money itself). EA will listen to gamers whine and cry about too many First Person Shooters and sports games, but all they have to do is look at the success of games like Battlefield and MADDEN to know that's all a load of horse shit.

When gamers cry about first person shooters being too bland and samey and they don't want them anymore, yet games like Battlefield and Call of Duty keep breaking sales records every time they get released, that makes gamers either wrong, or just whining for the sake of whining. No boycott from gamers ever makes any sense, because of one thing:

They will buy games from EA, just so they can make up some bullshit reason to feel ripped off, then they can cry about it on the internet. They do it so they can complain, because gamers love to complain. Complaining is easy and makes you feel like the victim of a big corporation. When really all they are is stupid with their own money.

A sucker is born every minute, and they will soon be parted with their money.

EA is a greedy company, but not to the cartoonish degree that gamer culture would have you believe. They claim it's Monty Burns, when EA is really more like a sneaky phone company that charges you System Access Fees.

CAPTCHA: Good Grief

Even the captcha is tired of this shit.

I always thought people bought the game due to a combination of peer pressure, heavy marketing and not enough will power. It's a very potent combination at the best of times and it does take quite a bit of will power to stick to boycotting.

But most of the money the publishers get is mostly from over-charging for their products. Forty five quid is a lot of money to sink on a single purchase for a lot of gamers. Especially when a lot of them are on low income jobs and or spend time on gaming websites to further rub in the desire for a new game.

But as you said, there's a sucker born every minute and the sheer number of newbies make up for the number of disillusioned gamers out there as far as the publisher is concerned. It's quite depressing to think how a much loved childhood hobby is being increasingly bogged down and diluted by corporate interests.

LiquidGrape:
Oh do grow up. Already with the conspiracy theories and cries for what darkness is to come?

I wish them both the very best in their new pursuits, and I thank them for their contribution to games. I think that's really all that needs to be said.

I agree.

Thanks guys, wish you all the best for whatever it is that you'll pursue now.

It is always sad to see the old guard go, but I see this as an opportunity for new passionate people to step into the industry. These new guys will need to be a little more savvy when it comes to corporate politics, though. . .

Fare thee well.

Well, I have mixed thoughts here.

At the end of the day we shouldn't be blaming EA but the Bioware Co-Founders for what's going on here. From where I'm standing these guys built up the "Bioware" brand, and then sold the company to EA while still remaining tenatively at it's head. They figured they would stick around if EA's plans worked, but when they predictably failed, they more or less grabbed the golden parachute of their payout, and left. From their perspective it was a giant cash grab, they got paid and didn't really care about the games, they got a payout, and a chance at more money, but when it failed they were able to leave what they grabbed. The way they played it they can now retire in their early 40s, if it hurts games and gamers, so what? They made theirs.

As I understand things this was not a hostile takeover, it was a conscious desician at the top to take EA's money and merge with them, these two guys were probably the ones who decided to do that, they are thus responsible for what happened to the games, employees, and the state of gaming. EA was doing what it always does, and was a known quantity, there was no real deception involved as far as I can see.

To be honest I'd be wary of either of these guys if they decided to get back into the business because if they sold out, and then jumped ship, once, there is no guarantee they won't do it again.

If I sound more judgemental of Bioware's leadership than I am of say Richard Garriot, a lot of it has to do with timing and when things happened. It's because of how things turned out with guys like Richard that you can't claim ignorance of what was going to happen and who was being dealt with in Bioware's dealings.

It's sad that what is likely the last vestige of what made Bioware what it was is now gone, but I think we all knew this was coming. I do not however view the co-founders as victims here as much as part of the cause. In the absolute best case you can say they brought it on themselves, and given their apparent retirement in their early 40s (which means they can afford to do so) it doesn't seem like they are in bad shape, or especially sympathetic, after all they doubtlessly knew they had the option to do this which is why they sold out.

I'd just like to use this to thank the Dr's for helping my formative years be full of wonder and mysticism. Their $100,000 gamble helped computer RPGs have a distinct flavor and energy that has yet to be completely emulated, and with Baldur's Gate EE coming soon, it's obvious that their initial mark on the history of the medium is far from dated and unwanted.

Good luck in your next steps, and don't keep all that mead to yourself! I really wouldn't mind a few bottles of that.

Therumancer:

From where I'm standing these guys built up the "Bioware" brand, and then sold the company to EA while still remaining tenatively at it's head.

Why do people keep spreading misinformation?

EA bought BW/Pandemic's parent company (and private equity firm), Elevation Partners, which owned several other companies in the tech sector. That was due to John Riccitello, who had originally founded the company and then left, re-acquiring the firm after working at EA for two years

Really, your entire post is based on a fallacy.

xedobubble:
Vaya con Dios, gentlemen. You brought us some amazing work.

We shall watch your careers with great interest.

Monsigenur Martinez?

I never got into Baldur's Gate but from what I've heard, its a legend of the RPG series so-(salutes) carry on gentlemen and here's wishing you the best of luck.

Mr.Tea:
And there we go. The transition to EA subsidiary is complete.

Farewell old friend.

Actually there's one more step to becoming an EA subsidiary.
EA has to shut you down, because EA has no subsidiaries only slaves.

I've translated both of their statements into one three word answer to the question, "Why are you leaving Bioware?"
"Because of E.A"
That's all there is too it, really, cut and dry, that is why.
Sure, it's partially their fault that Bioware got consumed into the Tyrant Juggernaut in the first place, but it's clear to see this is a case of the people with actual passion scattering from a company that E.A has devoured and branded into DEVELOPMENT STUDIO #6809

How soon until MS purchase Bioware and make them work on exclusive Kinect games?

First Drew Karpyshyn, now the (important) co-founders? Goodbye, BioWare. May you rest in peace.

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