Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk have been big names in the gaming industry for quite some time. Despite retiring from game development years ago, the ‘Bioware Doctors’ will officially be recognized at next month’s Game Developers Choice Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Muzyka and Zeschuk met in medical school at the University of Alberta, and connected over a shared passion of video games. It wasn’t until 1995, each with a successful medical practice, that they decided to pursue a different goal. Since then, Bioware has produced some of the most beloved western roleplaying games in history, like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur’s Gate, Dragon Age, Jade Empire and Mass Effect.
Perhaps their most renowned achievement, however, was bolstering Bioware’s strong character and presence throughout its acquisition by Electronic Arts, a feat other gaming companies (Pandemic, Bullfrog) simply couldn’t survive.
“I think one of the reasons that we survived and succeeded within EA was that our company was mature enough and there was enough good people throughout to handle the EA bear hug — something that is well meaning but vigorous.”
In September, Muzyka and Zeschuk left Bioware in pursuit of other goals (Zeschuk, for instance, has discovered a love of beer, documenting this passion with The Beer Diaries, and Muzyka works with developing medical innovation). Even though the Bioware founders are no longer in the business of making games, Meggan Scavio, general manager of the Game Developers Choice Awards, cannot see the honor awarded quickly enough.
“The BioWare Doctors are truly a unique breed. 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 long-time 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.”