The BioWare Doctors will soon have something else to display next to their degrees.
Each year, the Game Developers Choice Awards honors an outstanding individual who has made a great impact on games and game development with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In previous years, recipients have included Warren Spector, Hideo Kojima, and Shigeru Miyamoto. For the 2013 award, however, it seems the judges just couldn't settle on one person. Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, co-founders of BioWare, will be the joint recipients of the award at the Game Developers Conference next month.
Doctors Muzyka and Zeschuk, better known as "the BioWare Doctors" among their peers, founded BioWare after meeting in medical school at the University of Alberta. After earning their degrees, they developed games while working double as doctors until they could work on their games full-time. Their first major success came in 1998 with Baldur's Gate, which paved the way for a series of critically acclaimed releases including Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age.
"The BioWare Doctors are truly a unique breed," says Meggan Scavio, General Manager of GDC events. "Not only have they created some of the most emotionally-engaging and beloved games ever made, they are two of the most passionate, engaging, just all-around nice guys anyone could be fortunate enough to meet. Anyone, be they a longtime colleague or a fan who's met them only once at an event like GDC can tell you they treat everyone like a friend, and I am so pleased we can show them our deep appreciation this year with this award ... There's no denying the deep footprint Ray and Greg have made, and how much their dedication and leadership will be missed in our industry."
The Doctors will formally receive their accolades at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony at GDC 2013 in San Francisco this March. Though retired from game development, both Muzyka and Zeschuk have big plans for the future: Muzyka plans to start mentoring and investing in technology, new media, medical innovation and social entrepreneurs, and Zeschuk is working on a series of web documentaries titled "The Beer Diaries."
Looking back at their track record, these two visionaries have certainly had a good run. Say what you will about the company's recent endeavors, but at least its founders will be getting an ending that doesn't suck.