BioWare founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka retire from the videogame industry

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Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, the co-founders of EA-owned Mass Effect developer BioWare, have quit the company and left the videogame industry.

The news of the duo’s departure – announced to staff at the studio this morning and subsequently leaked to news websites – has been confirmed on the BioWare blog, with statements from each of the co-founders about their future plans. Zeschuk is “pursuing some personal passion-driven projects related to craft beer”. Muzyka’s plans are less clear, saying his next move “will likely focus on ” an entirely new industry, something exciting, different and frankly downright scary – investing in and mentoring new entrepreneurs, and more specifically, the field of social/impact investing.”

While the announcement will likely spark speculation that the pair had tired of life under BioWare parent company EA, both are full of praise for the publisher which acquired their studio in 2007.

Muzyka pays tribute to “the mentorship, wisdom and continuing support” of EA CEO John Riccitiello and his management team”, later praising the publisher for “years of continual strong support in helping the teams at BioWare to build and grow, and pursue the art and craft of videogames.”

Zeschuk also lauds EA, saying working with the publisher 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.”

In a separate post Aaryn Flynn, general manager of BioWare Edmonton and Montreal, moves to set at ease the minds of players who might be concerned at the effect the founders’ departure might have on projects in development – adding that the Mass Effect series will continue. The vast majority of his post, however, is reserved for unmitigated praise for Zeschuk and Muzyka, who founded the company in 1995 and turned it into one of the world’s most respected studios.

“Ray and Greg built BioWare to last,” he writes. “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.”