BioWare cofounder talks leaving Mass Effect for beer

Greg Zeschuk recalls leaving BioWare to make Web series about craft beer, saying he no longer had passion for making games.

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BioWare cofounder Greg Zeschuk has opened up on his departure from the Mass Effect and Dragon Age publisher in September. Speaking to Polygon, he said he simply no longer had the passion necessary to continue on, and so he decided to pursue another passion project: a Web series about craft beer.

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"I just felt like my passion was waning," Zeschuk said. "And I am very much a creature of passion and so I kind of looked at myself and go, 'OK, if I was to do something else what would I do? What would I really feel engaged in? What would I really enjoy?'"

This turned out to be beer, or more specifically, a show called The Beer Diaries. The first episode will premiere this week at Alamo's Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. Tickets are available now.

Other BioWare cofounder Ray Muzyka is now involved with social impact endeavors, like charities for education, health care, and animal rights.

Why specifically Zeschuk lost his passion for gaming remains unclear. He left BioWare after Mass Effect 3's ending drew much criticism and debate and Star Wars: The Old Republic saw its subscriber base dwindle before going free-to-play. Could these have been the reasons to get out?

"It's challenging. It's sometimes rewarding and sometimes it's not. And you just get tired of it after a while. That is probably the easiest way for me to describe it. Sometimes you just need to change things."

"Everything's a factor," Zeschuk said. "There's nothing that's not a factor, but there's no single one thing. I think the best way I can describe is: Do the same thing for twenty years and it's very, very intense. It's very high pressure. It's very high stress. It's challenging. It's sometimes rewarding and sometimes it's not. And you just get tired of it after a while. That is probably the easiest way for me to describe it. Sometimes you just need to change things."

Zeschuk also spoke about the fan reaction to his and Muzyka's departure from BioWare. He said though gamers may be mad at them for leaving, staying on board without a desire to make games would be even worse.

"You know it's sad; I wish I could deliver on that, but I don't think I would be as good as I was in that space historically. Like I said, the fire wasn't there," he said.

Lastly, Zeschuk explained that the reason he and Muzyka spent so much time contemplating how best to leave BioWare was that they wanted to make sure they left the company on solid footing. Zeschuk and Muzyka are still good friends, he said, noting the two spoke just last week.

"We're very close," Zeschuk said. "We always joke with our wives that arguably we've spent more time with each other than our wives for that fifteen- to twenty-year period."

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