Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, the two doctors who have created video game developer BioWare way back in 1995, have officially announced that they are leaving the company and the industry and plan to dedicate the rest of their lives to different pursuits.Soon after the news appeared, two reactions seem to dominate fan forums and the video games media: some proclaimed that Electronic Arts finally completed the destruction of BioWare which started in 2007 when the developer was bought, while others absolved the publishers of any guilt but still believed that BioWare would suffer in the long term.
There’s no denying that Zeschuk and Muzyka were important for the company, especially when their role was more hands-on, during the creation process of such great games like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and the first Neverwinter Nights.
Since BioWare was picked up by Electronic Arts in 2007, the pair has moved more towards business and management roles and it’s hard to know how much clear and direct input they had when it comes to Dragon Age, the more traditional role-playing fantasy franchise that they created, and Mass Effect, the more successful space-based action RPG that got its third installment this year.
I believe that BioWare is a solid developer and that it has a strong relationship with Electronic Arts which will allow it to survive and thrive despite the fact that Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk are no longer leading it.
Both the Dragon Age and the Mass Effect series (I have not yet played enough of The Old Republic for an opinion) have strong mechanics, unique universes and a mix of established ideas and innovation that can keep them going for a number of installments.
The company is also working on a new game universe and a first look at it might serve to settle the question of whether BioWare can continue to deliver enjoyable video games without its founders in the lead.