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BioWare Founder Greg Zeschuk Still at Company, Says EA

By - Source: Videogamer | B 16 comments

There's talk that BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk has left the company, but there's a good chance he's merely moved to the Montreal studio to be closer to his family.

German website GamersGlobal initially reported that BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk may have resigned from the company. Zeschuk allegedly has not been seen at the BioWare Austin studio for a number of weeks. Adding to the panic is the fact that both Zeschuk and fellow co-founder Ray Muzyka didn't make an appearance at a recent meeting -- that's unusual, we guess.

According to Zeschuk's LinkedIn profile, he's still listed as part of the BioWare team (1995 to present), but he is no longer acting as General Manager of the BioWare Austin studio (6/10 to 5/12). Filling the GM shoes in Austin is ex-Major League Gaming CEO Matthew Bromberg. EA later confirms all of this in an emailed statement to GamersGlobal.

"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," an EA spokesperson told the German website. "Greg also announced the new [general manager] of SWTOR Bioware Austin as Matt Bromberg. Greg is still at EA. He is now back in Canada, where he takes a break and thinking of new projects. With Ray Muzyka, there is no change."

Yet GamersGlobal still sniffs trouble, reporting it unusual that Zeschuk didn't have an official position at EA or BioWare following his resignation as the Austin studio's General Manager. There's also that supposed meeting too in which both founders didn't attend. Now there's "fear" that the studio will be re-branded as EA Austin, as it's currently facing mounting "internal pressure."

That said, it's highly possible Zeschuk has decided to work at the BioWare Montreal studio to work on new projects and be closer to his family. As of October 2011, the entire BioWare group consisted of six individual studios: BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Austin, BioWare Mythic, BioWare Montreal, BioWare Ireland, and BioWare San Francisco. There's plenty of EA-owned BioWare to go around, it seems.

BioWare Austin was responsible for developing the disappointing Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG. The PC game launched back in December 2011 and has thus seen a massive decline in numbers since the beginning of the year, dipping below one million in recent weeks. Just recently the MMORPG went into free-to-play mode to help reel in new and old customers alike.

BioWare was founded in February 1995 by medical doctors Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuk and Augustine Yip. Titles generated by the developer over the years have included the Baldur's Gate series, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the Mass Effect series, Dragon Age: Origins and more.

 

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  • 3 Hide
    Draven35 , August 10, 2012 11:30 PM
    did someone tell them that they weren't at the meeting, or were they just not seen going into the building or office? If they just weren't seen, let me tell you about this nifty new thing called teleconferencing...
  • 6 Hide
    icepick314 , August 10, 2012 11:46 PM
    how about letting HIM speak for himself?

    what is EA doing to the poor guy?

    chained him to a desk in a dark basement under EA HQ?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 11, 2012 12:30 AM
    wow it seems there was a bit of truth to the rumor after all. It's starting to become a trend.
  • Display all 16 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    dalethepcman , August 11, 2012 1:19 AM
    I'm thinking they are starting to realize what "selling out" means, and the price was too steep for them. Bioware is still a great company, but the last few products they released seemed rushed so they could "cash in" which isn't something Bioware did before EA came around.

    You didn't see neverwinter 2 nights DLC come out one week after neverwinter nights 2 release and neverwinter nights 3 come out 6 months later. (yes Im talking about dragon age)
  • 5 Hide
    n3ard3ath , August 11, 2012 2:40 AM
    dalethepcmanI'm thinking they are starting to realize what "selling out" means, and the price was too steep for them. Bioware is still a great company, but the last few products they released seemed rushed so they could "cash in" which isn't something Bioware did before EA came around. You didn't see neverwinter 2 nights DLC come out one week after neverwinter nights 2 release and neverwinter nights 3 come out 6 months later. (yes Im talking about dragon age)


    Good point, but don't forget NWN 2 was developped by Obsidian, Bioware just rented the license to them or something. But you could say the same thing about NWN 1, it's just that it's way older. Their last great RPG if you ask me. Mass Effect is okay I guess, but subpar as an RPG if you ask me. You clearly see it was simplified as an RPG to please the crowd and make the most cash as possible. IMO, I don't think Bioware is a great company anymore, they're just less Bd than the other Big B's (Bethesda/Blizzard).

    Look at what they made with the KotR franchise...Money money money? MMO...Seriously, I'm happy Old Republic seems to be failing, at least, in their business perceptive. Tjhey were probably expecting to steal way more from WoW or something. I heard they want to go F2P. F2P is a sign of failure to me. BTW, F2P, another plague the PC gaming industry is suffering from.
  • 2 Hide
    n3ard3ath , August 11, 2012 2:41 AM
    Forgot to say NWN 1 had 2 pretty good expension packs following it. Nowadays it's subpar DLC to right, subpar DLC to left. Greed is good, ain't it? If only people could stop supporting this racket with their money...
  • 2 Hide
    matt_b , August 11, 2012 2:58 AM
    dalethepcmanI'm thinking they are starting to realize what "selling out" means, and the price was too steep for them. Bioware is still a great company, but the last few products they released seemed rushed so they could "cash in" which isn't something Bioware did before EA came around.

    That's because that IS what EA is all about. Bioware is not and will probably never be the same any more now that big EA owns them. The fact about the co-founder still being there or not is irrelevant, his voice along with the voices of all of the other great talent was lost with the buyout going through. There is no other company in the history of gaming that has killed more companies and squandered more talent than EA.
  • 0 Hide
    bigdragon , August 11, 2012 3:01 AM
    icepick314how about letting HIM speak for himself?what is EA doing to the poor guy?chained him to a desk in a dark basement under EA HQ?

    Probably the same thing they did to Will Wright. EA likes to claim every thought their creative acquisitions make and lock their successful people in padded asylum offices to make sure nobody else can get at their ideas. Success is punished.
  • 0 Hide
    timw03878 , August 11, 2012 9:12 AM
    I love how everyone blames EA. As if Bioware didn't have a choice in the matter. Business is Business guys. A contract is a contract. Don't like it? then VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS. Anyone, and I mean anyone who bought a bioware product after EA bought them, basically said "we approve of this contract" The people who are at fault? The consumer... all of you stupid ass sheep who keep buying crap and wonder why EA sucks so much.
  • -2 Hide
    master_chen , August 11, 2012 10:44 AM
    I seriously stopped giving crap about EAware after what they did to Mass Effect 3...
  • 0 Hide
    tului , August 11, 2012 11:54 AM
    I hate EA so much I'd fund a terrorist organization if their purpose was the downfall of EA. As others have said, they've ruined so much. The last game I really enjoyed from EA was NHL 95 or maybe NHL 96.
  • -2 Hide
    n3ard3ath , August 11, 2012 4:17 PM
    timw03878I love how everyone blames EA. As if Bioware didn't have a choice in the matter. Business is Business guys. A contract is a contract. Don't like it? then VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS. Anyone, and I mean anyone who bought a bioware product after EA bought them, basically said "we approve of this contract" The people who are at fault? The consumer... all of you stupid ass sheep who keep buying crap and wonder why EA sucks so much.


    Can't agree more with you. Same thing goes for Blizzard. Everybody blaiming Activision. Hey, nobody forced them to merge. I don't recall Blizzard having any financial issues before the merge.
  • 0 Hide
    matt_b , August 11, 2012 4:42 PM
    timw03878I love how everyone blames EA. As if Bioware didn't have a choice in the matter. Business is Business guys. A contract is a contract. Don't like it? then VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS. Anyone, and I mean anyone who bought a bioware product after EA bought them, basically said "we approve of this contract" The people who are at fault? The consumer... all of you stupid ass sheep who keep buying crap and wonder why EA sucks so much.

    I (along with many others I'm sure) blame EA in the sense that when the acquisition took place, Bioware was transformed into the poster company that so many other EA acquired companies have before it. I blame EA in the sense that it's hard to shake a bad reputation but Bioware was yet another opportunity to do just that, and they failed. I don't blame anyone that bought a Bioware gamei mmediately after the merger, Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 (much less ME:2) had a LOT of clout before release. These were franchise games built on what was once Bioware's reputation. I would however blame new IP/franchise purchases from here on though. Bottom line, Bioware was great as is, if EA had just acquired them and left them alone (but of course the usual reap the benefits and revenue), the post-merger games would have probably had that trademark Bioware glaze to them. Of course it was Bioware's choice to sell, but the other reality could be than this is just the natural fall like so many other companies take. At least the 2K merger didn't end up going through, I cannot imagine how disastrous that would have been for gamers as well (and the already stifled sports market).
  • 0 Hide
    twelch82 , August 12, 2012 6:38 AM
    It's no fault of BioWare's developers. SWTOR was pretty much doomed from the beginning. Because of aversion to expensive risk, nobody is willing to try anything actually new in the MMORPG space, preferring to create clones of WoW set in different universes.

    Everybody who still wants to play WoW is playing WoW, and isn't going to switch just for the sake of a reskin. To be successful in this market, somebody is going to have to be willing to innovate a bit.
  • 0 Hide
    master_chen , August 12, 2012 10:59 AM
    tuluiThe last game I really enjoyed from EA was NHL 95 or maybe NHL 96.

    How about "Strike" series? Those were, IMHO, the best games EA offered so far. I still play them with much pleasure, even today.
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , August 13, 2012 5:14 PM
    twelch82It's no fault of BioWare's developers. SWTOR was pretty much doomed from the beginning. Because of aversion to expensive risk, nobody is willing to try anything actually new in the MMORPG space, preferring to create clones of WoW set in different universes. Everybody who still wants to play WoW is playing WoW, and isn't going to switch just for the sake of a reskin. To be successful in this market, somebody is going to have to be willing to innovate a bit.



    SWTOR was doomed because of weak PvP. PVE content will bring players in and TORs lack of not just end-game content but good PvP content which would have kept players on the servers. Terribad class design and whacky end-game PvP frustrated me and many more. Bio almost got it right because the PvP atmosphere is not static but dynamic with things going on around the WZs or Ilum. The overall design was poor and Bio underestimated how important good PvP is.