Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, co-founders of BioWare, have announced that they're departing the company. What's more, it doesn't sound like they'll be coming back to the gaming industry anytime soon.
In a blog post, Muzyka said that he's going to explore the field of impact investing. Impact investing is a form of investment that weighs the social and environmental effects of a business in addition to financial return.
"For me, getting involved in social impact investment stems from the simple hope of helping the world to be a better place," said Muzyka. "To that end, I’ll also be spending time getting involved with more charities in education, health care, and animal rights, areas where my wife and I’ve typically focused our charitable donations in the past. I am also spending more time learning about the work being done to defend human rights and civil liberty across the world. Next, I am passionate about both entrepreneurship and social liberty, and I want to find a way to pursue both of them."
Zeschuk, meanwhile, says he plans to spend more time with his family and friends. He also wants to pursue his passion: craft beer. He's going to run a web show called The Beer Diaries in which he interviews various brewers. He may also pursue other projects, apps and shows related to this interest.
"Writing a note like this is something one imagines doing once in a lifetime, if at all," Zeschuk said. "The experience of following a dream, achieving it and along the way working with the most talented, passionate and engaging people imaginable isn’t something I’m likely going to repeat again. Building BioWare over the years with Ray and the many other people involved was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’ll cherish it always."
The two have some experience in switching careers. When they founded BioWare back in 1995, they were actually practicing medical doctors. I'd imagine that transition was even scarier, considering the amount of debt medical schools typically graduate with.
It's not clear who will take over the reins of BioWare. Aaryn Flynn, the general manager of the company's Edmonton and Montreal studios, may be a possible candidate. He wrote a blog post of his own to reassure fans that the company will continue business as usual.
"Ray and Greg built BioWare to last. They’ve always known their retirement would come one day, so they developed a team of people who would ensure their standards and culture would endure. We’ll humbly carry that torch and continue learning in the process."
I assume that a lot of people are going to blame Electronic Arts, the owner of BioWare since 2007, for the departure of Zeschuk and Muzyka. It does fit the popular "publisher is evil" narrative. The fact that the duo decided to leave the industry entirely, rather than create a new rival company, suggests that might not be the case, though.