EA squashes rumors of BioWare co-founders departure

Publisher says Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka are still with company, but Zeschuk is taking time off and considering new projects.

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Electronic Arts has squashed rumors that BioWare's Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka had left the studio they co-founded.

Zeschuk and Muzyka on the day of The Old Republic's launch.

Earlier this week, German site GamersGlobal reported on rumors that Zeschuk and Muzyka had jumped ship after the disappointing launch of BioWare's massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic. The site noted that Zeschuk's LinkedIn profile had been updated to say he had ended his stint as general manager of BioWare Austin in May of this year. (It still lists him as presently employed in the position of BioWare co-founder.) In addition, GamersGlobal attributes a "trusted source" at BioWare Austin with information that neither Zeschuk nor Muzyka was present at a company-wide meeting last week and that Zeschuk actually hadn't been seen at the studio for weeks.

An EA representative denied the rumors to GameSpot, saying, "When Greg Zeschuk announced the reorganization of BioWare Austin in May, he outlined his plan to return to his family in Edmonton for a much deserved vacation. Greg also announced the new GM of BioWare Austin and SWTOR, Matt Bromberg. Greg is still with EA. He's now back in Canada, taking time off and thinking about new projects. No changes with Dr. Ray."

The Old Republic launched in December of 2011 and quickly gained a subscriber base of 1.7 million. However, that figure has since fallen below 1 million, and BioWare Austin sustained a number of layoffs along with its restructuring. As for the game, EA is converting it from a subscription-based business model to free-to-play, with the transition expected to happen in full this fall.

Discussion

249 comments
sonicare
sonicare

Those guys may just be getting tired.  They cashed out huge on Bioware when they sold themselves to EA. 

kiopta1
kiopta1

I don't think they are leaving but it would be interesting to see what they would have  come up with had they left to start of new company...then again the industry is so tough I doubt they would make it even if they made something amazing.

musalala
musalala

Given the legendary status of EA"s PR  Bullsh#tting I find this comment extremely suspect , KOTOR failed to be the WOW killer it was hyped to be

biggest_loser
biggest_loser

How the mighty have fallen. You know what they say: you sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas. 

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

After playing Heavy Rain, I really don't think that highly of Biowares "choice driven" games. Anyone can die in Heavy Rain, but the story just keeps moving forward, and it has multiple endings. Mass Effect was mostly just gimmicks when it came to player choice. How big of an impact did the "major choice" at the end of ME2 really have in the next game? And choice is almost non-existent at the end of ME3, even with the extended cut. Bioware is a great developer, but the choices really don't make much of a difference.

Ghosthunter54
Ghosthunter54

Anyone else notice that everything EA touches dies?

kayos539
kayos539

Start a new company and make that Jade Empire sequel already.

tgwolf
tgwolf

I was always naively under the assumption that EA and WoW came along in the 21st Century...now that I think of it and having played .hack// and reviewing Tron movies I am almost convinced that they were the origin of ALL things evil. I'm sure Satan became Satan because he worked for EA after kicking his WoW habit the first time!

cfstar
cfstar

I would've preferred if he leaved and founded his own company... I don't think BioWare has no talent left, i can feel some ambition in their latest games, but the execution is rushed and lacking in detail. DA2, Tortanic(i can't call it anything else, lol) and ME3 wouldn't have been completely different games, obviously, but i think something with more care would've come up if EA hadn't put their hands on them. Course, BioWare were already going with the reduction of RPG elements before EA bought them(Jade Empire), but that's not necessarily bad if done correctly.

 

But oh well, even if that never happens, we have CD Projekt now.

naydub
naydub

Those two have most likely endured a crisis of conscience. The idea of security is fine, but self-reliance breeds innovation. 

I won't say Bioware got lazy, but it appears they didn't maintain that same level of proficiency they showed up until ME 2.

Some folks complained about KOTOR 2. I was one of them, but I understand that it was used to fund ME 1 and Jade Empire.

They had a company that set trends; not defined by them. I would bet a steak dinner that the Doc and the Dr. spent many a day shaking their heads in disgust at many of the decisions they allowed EA to make.

Step out fellas get back out there on your own. The market will support good games. When you're ready, we'll be waiting with open wallets. 

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

Why would the co-founders of Bioware leave because TOR stinks? Wouldn't the lower level people leave?

 

"Crap, the huge game we made is a huge flop!"

"We better bail on our company!"

CommodoreRaslin
CommodoreRaslin

Whether or not they left is completely immaterial.

 

Bioware has already proven that they ran out of the secret sauce which caused us to become addicted to their games in the first place.

vault-boy
vault-boy

Start bitching about Mass Effect ending in 3...2...1... now.

jdt532
jdt532

I wish those guys would leave and start a new studio outside of the control of EA. Maybe Drew Karpyshyn and Brent Knowles could be their first hires. We can hope....

strayfies
strayfies

That's too bad, those guys could probably deal a lot of good IP without EA pumping it for DLC / brainless sequels. 

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I am glad Dr. Zeschuck is taking time off and thinking about new projects. Why don't they make an RPG about medicine? I mean, they are doctors; surely there are interesting stories to be told about that.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

Please....

 

Mass Effect 3....93 Metacritic, 70+ Scores, highest reveiwed game of the year, second highest reviewed mainstream EA game of all time (Mass Effect 2 is #1).

 

Face it, the game is a success, its the vocal minority that doesn't like it.

 

And please, for all those who say ME3 was rushed, it had more development time than ME2 did. And don't tell me ME1 wasn't rushed by Microsoft to the 360 for the holidays...You know, the obvious beta ME1 was, or the copy and paste planets and dungeons.

 

And DAO wasn't exactly finished and polished either.

KristoffBrujah
KristoffBrujah

Seems Bioware is following the typical EA crumble dance. Sad times for those of us who still have the boxes of the original BG. They were the company that first introduced me to CRPG and I will forever be grateful. But those times are over and sadly this is probably Bioware hitting the downslope. The crash is coming unless they get creative. Thank God I have Bethesda and CD Projekt Red.

kiopta1
kiopta1

 @Ghosthunter54its not that the enitirety of EA is evil or mad...its that the business leadership looks to do things strictly from a profit at all costs basis. Such a thinking is business but in an industry that also operates with some degree of art, creativity, and fan loyalty...it can often become more of a slow growing cancer than a healthy business.

 

Ghosthunter54
Ghosthunter54

 @naydub Kotor 2 was made by Obsidian. Not Bioware.

 

Bioware was better before EA though. Much better.

Mefistofel666
Mefistofel666

 @vishisluv7 Maybe because they haven't got creative freedom they used to have before EA bought them.

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

 

 It was great.... Until the final five minutes.  The ending was like something from a parody. How were we even supposed to take that seriously?

jessica73
jessica73

 @texasgoldrush Yeah, money talks, anyone seriously using reviews as a guide on what to get deserves a mediocre experience. Dragon's Dogma is a better game but got meh reviews.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

 @KristoffBrujah

 Please, "creative"...until recently, Bioware kept repeating the same story fromula and character archtypes over and over again. Until ME2.

 

Don't tell me DA2 wasn't creative. It was, it was not exceuted well a many points due to the KOTOR II style rush job.

 

Bethesda sucks at writing (except somehow Serana from Dawnguard was well written, a broken clock is right twice a day).

 

And didn't CD Projeckt have to do the same thing Bioware did? Which is renew and enhance their ending?

divinelegend
divinelegend

 @kiopta1

 Theres a cream for that... oh wait this is the internet.. what i ment to say was "Theres a app for that"

jdt532
jdt532

 @mrboone01  With the exception of KOTOR which is a Lucas Arts IP, so maybe KOTOR 3 could be their first game.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @mrboone01

 I seem to remember reading somewhere that at least one of them practiced for a while. Maybe I misremembered. In any case, they can still make a rpg based on medicine using what they learned in med school and what they know of their classmates even if they didn't actually practice.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

 @jessica73

 

No, it has major narrative and gameplay problems. DD is a nice first attempt, but they need to get better.

sune_Gem
sune_Gem

 @q-w-e-r-t-y 

Yeah, and about half of them are 0's or some other ludiciris score. A 0 would be a game that is so broken and busted that it would barely even turn on, have graphics like an early PS2 game and generally have absolutly no redeeming qualities what so ever. Hate on it all you want, but the game is not even close to that bad.A score of about a 4 seems like a legit disliking, but 0 or 1 is just being a troll or a severly butt-hurt player.That's why user scores aren't trustworthy sources of quality judgement.

DragonRift
DragonRift

 @q-w-e-r-t-y Wow, you actually think user scores on Metacritic are credible?  Especially with all the trolls spamming countless "0" scores because of their personal vendettas with EA?  The exact same thing was done to Diablo III from all the people who scored it at "0" just because of the required online play, and nothing more.

 

Yeah, a lot of thought and compassion went into some of those user-reviews, like people claiming it's the "worst game ever made".  From that standpoint, they obviously never played many games in their lives.

 

No internets for you, sir.  I'll be taking your trophy AND your cookie.

CommodoreRaslin
CommodoreRaslin

 @q-w-e-r-t-y

 It's a success because it has a high score?

 

I am pretty sure that if you took a survey of Twilight's demographic you would also find that it gets a high score and would therefore be by your definition a success, but that doesn't mean it was a good movie by any stretch of the imagination.

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @q-w-e-r-t-y LOL that has got to be the worst argument of all fucking time. User scores are the most idiotic things in the fucking world. Rotten Tomatoes has a user score of 76/100 for Transformers 2, a 73/100 for Pearl Harbor and a 68/100 for Madea's Witness Protection, but the thing is thats not because the movies are good its because user reviews are fucking retarded. Same thing with Mass Effect 3, just instead of retarded people calling a bad thing good, its them calling a good thing bad.

 

Not to mention who goes on Metacritic to review shit anyways? Oh yes, whiny, bitchy nerds who wont stop bitching about anything at all because its the internet and thats the only way they get attention. 

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

 @q-w-e-r-t-y

 User scores are meaningless, bunch of Bioware haters who gave the game a 0 at launch day. Or harp on aspect they did not like and bomb the game....same with Diablo III.

Dante0611
Dante0611

 @texasgoldrush you have to be the most classical guillable costumer ive seen leaving opinions here, EA and activision should be glad of having walking fools like you buying their stuff kudos to you i've heard ignorance is a bless. unless youre a kid in which case ya, just need to grow up and apreciate the money your parents use to buy your games and all the DLC.

jessica73
jessica73

 @texasgoldrush  @KristoffBrujah no, the original ending to the Witcher 2 is fine, but they did add new content to the entire third act as well as more content through the game.

no_fear_in_hell
no_fear_in_hell

 @Unfallen_Satan So much for "taking care of their patient" (in this case, Bioware)... I would call them "Quacks", for the ammount of bulshit they spit per second...

Vojtass
Vojtass

 @texasgoldrush TW2 ending wasn't criticized. 3rd act was, because it was way too short. Little difference, huh? Real consequences of TW2 will be shown in TW3.

 

Aspects shown in new cutscenes were suggested in original - Loredo negotiatated with Henselt (mission in Loredo's residence - his letter in mailbox is the best evidence), Radovid's worst sides are already known - it was worth to listen what he says during official meeting in Loc Muinne. Fate of sorcerers and sorceresses was mentioned in several places. Next time watch carefully.

 

Face it, you're just imagining things. Because you don't like the game, it doesn't mean you're right. I guess it's common thing amongst the haters. :)

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

 @Vojtass

 BS....

 

The original TW2 ending was all tell, no show. Thats why it was criticized. And while there was different states of the world, CDP basically shoehorned consquences into the ending of the EE. Throughout the entire game, the results of your decisons wer shown, UNTIL THE ENDING.

 

Nevermind the new cut basically shows the worst aspects of Radovid, the results of dealing with Loredo, and other choices completely ignorred in the original version.

 

Face it, CDP had to do the same thing Bioware did, fix their ending. And they still didn't fix everything...Saskia still doesn't matter in regards to the fate of Vergen....becuase IDK, she was practically worshipped there, her fate should matter.

 

And the meaning was changed if you didn't save Triss.....the purge goes from local to widespread.

Vojtass
Vojtass

 @texasgoldrush No, you're wrong. There are new placeables, but dialogues are the same - in dialogues Triss/Iorweth/Roche tells Geralt what happened, when he was fighting the dragon. Just new visualization (and a cutscene) was added. Significance, meaning wasn't changed.

 

CDPR didn't show the results in original version, but these results were still there. There are different states of the world, and they are not the same - check them all, before you write a comment. Your ignorance doesn't justify your opinion.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

 @Vojtass

 Wrong

 

Check the epilogue again. The entire epilogue has been enhanced, not only showing an intro cinematic, but overhauling it. Now their is striking visual difference in saving Triss (green hue, less casualties, magic everwhere)  or helping Roche or Iorveth (red hue, grisly scene of mages and their supporters executed).

 

And so much for their 16 ending states, they are all th esmae, in th eoriginal version. I wonder why they added a slideshow. Becuase they didn't show the results of your choices the first time.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

 @jessica73

 No it wasn't.

 

It lacked clarity, did not take your choices into account, and really had the same thing people ciriticize ME3 for in the first ending....endings with little variance (Really its Triss and Roche, Triss and Iorveth, or just Triss). Nevermind that CDP promised varied endings and failed.

 

The EE overhauled the epilogue to provide clarity, adding new scenes, and then had a slideshow outlining your choices, plus a new outro.

 

The same thing ME3 basically did.