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Author Topic: Bioware News: Zeschuk and Muzyka retire  (Read 852 times)
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Hotfreak
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« on: September 18, 2012, 07:25:34 PM »

http://www.shacknews.com/article/75812/bioware-co-founders-muzyka-and-zeschuk-resign#

Let the speculation begin!

Beer and social impact seem to be the destinations.
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rittchard
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 07:46:28 PM »

Man, SWTOR wasn't THAT bad, was it?!?!

But seriously, though, it never made sense to me to force a single player story based game into an MMORPG format.  They probably could have released an awesome single player game in half the time.  Greed isn't always good.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 07:48:29 PM by rittchard » Logged
Blackjack
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 07:55:30 PM »

I think the speculation may be more that they were sick and tired of the whole EA-Bioware ecosystem. It wouldn't surprise me -- after they recharge their batteries -- if they or at least one of them goes indy or something, and try to re-find that joy of being on small teams trying to do something special rather than a gigantic corporate entity trying to please shareholders and bean-counters. Though I suspect EA might have instituted some sort of "non-compete" clause for a certain duration in case they decide to suddenly "unretire."

imho it's important to read the whole quotes from their blog posts:
Quote
Muzyka says he will "retire from videogames" altogether, to pursue an "entirely different set of challenges." Specifically, it appears Muzyka is interested in "getting involved in social impact investment" and plans on "getting involved with more charities in education, health care, and animal rights."

Zeschuk echoes Muzyka's sentiments, adding "I've reached an unexpected point in my life where I no longer have the passion that I once did for the company, for the games, and for the challenge of creation." Like his longtime partner, he will be departing the games industry, working on "personal passion-driven projects related to craft beer."
To me those are the words of people sick and tired of running gigantic corporations of, by many accounts, mostly unhappy people making games for masses of, too often, lots of angry gamers upset about something.

It's a far cry from the day when one of those two personally responded to me (really) by e-mail when I had a question about their Shattered Steel mech game around 1997 or so, very friendly. That's how small they were, and how ungigantic they were at the time.

It's ironic they're doing this at the same time Chris Roberts is planning to re-enter gaming after many years away.

And honestly I think Bioware got 10 times worse PR on the Mass Effect 3 ending fiasco than it did on SWTOR's churn rate. I don't blame them for thinking SWTOR was a great idea because WoW's success has been this great illusion that MMO's are an easy license to print money. And yet company after company charges that particular windmill, and then is closing dozens of servers, shutting down customer service centers, laying people off and switching to F2P within a year or two. Who really wants to be part of an industry segment that works like that?
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 08:02:35 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Arclight
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 08:18:29 PM »

Good old Edmontonians. Some big names have come out of that frozen berg over the years..Gretzky made his name there..

They probably lost the fire in the belly to keep them coming up with new, innovative stuff. Like a good boxing champ should do, say good bye before the embarrasment starts. Maybe the retirement should have happened pre-Swtor.
But in any event. They have many years of work to be very proud of. Obviously two very gifted and hard working guys.
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 08:58:06 PM »

I imagine that they just ran out their required contracts after being purchased by EA, since it is 5 years from the time they were purchased.
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 11:15:01 PM »

Keep in mind, they weren't just purchased by EA, they sold the company to EA.

So I get the feeling they were planning to leave for a while now, sold the company ahead of time, and waiting until an appropriate amount of time had passed and all current projects were released before leaving.

I very much doubt they're leaving because of EA management, considering they were the ones to sell the company in the first place.
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kathode
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 01:55:29 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on September 18, 2012, 11:15:01 PM

Keep in mind, they weren't just purchased by EA, they sold the company to EA.

So I get the feeling they were planning to leave for a while now, sold the company ahead of time, and waiting until an appropriate amount of time had passed and all current projects were released before leaving.

I very much doubt they're leaving because of EA management, considering they were the ones to sell the company in the first place.

Well to be fair, they sold the company to Elevation, and Elevation sold to EA a year later, in a deal that put John Riccitiello from Elevation at the top.  I'm sure they were heavily involved in the sale though and there's no reason to think they opposed it.  I think these guys made their money, shipped the games they felt passionate about, and felt it was time to move on.  Personally I can only imagine, but I do imagine my tolerance for any kind of bullshit or managerial shenanigans would be at an all-time low with, you know, $20 million+ in the bank or whatever those guys might have smile
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Destructor
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 01:42:53 PM »

Little scumbags that they are, doing the corporate bullshit they did to sell the company underhanded. Good riddance.
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012, 11:34:00 AM »

they quit because fan outrage from Mass Effect 3 and The Old Republic worn them out?

360a.org

While i am sure that probably is the reason,i don't think they would ever admit that


Quote
An ex-BioWare dev believes that company co-founders Greg Zeschuck and Ray Muzyka retired due to negative fan reaction to Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Trent Oster, who worked in various senior positions at Bioware, said that the last time he saw Zeschuck he was visibly exhausted.

“You have to love games and you put your heart into them to create them. To have the fans creating petitions against the work is pretty hard to take.

"The last time I met up with [Greg], I felt his exhaustion,” said Oster. "’Punch out, eject, get the hell out’, was my suggestions to him and it hit closer to the mark than I had realised. I also think the Mass Effect 3 fan reaction and the Old Republic fans' negativity was just too much.

"You have to love games and you put your heart into them to create them. To have the fans creating petitions against the work is pretty hard to take, especially when you've spent the last few years crunching overtime to try and ship a game. It can be hard to shut off the overwhelming negativity the internet spews forth, especially when it has your name or the name of your company in it."

However, despite the fact that Zeschuk’s retirement didn’t come as too much of a surprise, Oster was shocked by Muzyka’s departure.

"Ray surprised me,” said Oster. “I had him pegged as an EA lifer. My thought was the Ray agenda was to first usurp Frank Gibeau and then later John Riccotello as CEO.

“I'm sure the internal culture at EA had pinned the Old Republic conversion to free to play as a failure and hung that completely on Ray, so that would have hurt his upward climb. But, I figured he would fight harder. EA upper management must have been even worse than I thought."

Mass Effect 3 launched last year to widespread fan anger over the game's ending. Such was the outcry that BioWare was forced to issue free DLC in order to supplement the climax of the trilogy.

Meanwhile, despite launching with big subscriber numbers, PC MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic has waned in popularity in recent months. The game is now going free-to-play.

Greg Zeschuck and Ray Muzyka retired from the video game industry earlier this month.
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Doopri
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2012, 02:33:42 PM »

*bioware conference room 5 years ago*: "guys itll be great!  EA is going to fully fund us, let us retain our independence and work at our own pace to continue to make the games we love up to our standards!  well be set for life!"

*five years later* "we quit"

why do devs keep thinking that THIS TIME will be different?  or is it just too hard to turn down that initial paycheck, even when they know the clock is ticking?

as a side note, i wonder if the new microbrewery will push the envelope of barrel aging and usher in a new era of canadian sours, only to sell out to inbev in a few years? slywink
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Andrew Wonser
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2012, 06:34:28 PM »

I'm quoting from terrible memory here but there was a question posited about why do people (It may have been Whedon specifically) continually make shows for FOX when there is an extremely good chance it will be canceled early. The answer essentially was they need to make a paycheck like everyone else and a lot of the time FOX is willing to try new things.

Having said that in a dream world I wish that publishers and developers were separate. The developer owns the IP and the only involvement that a publisher has is the initial loan, distribution, and promotion and at most first refusal rights. And even then a developer could decide to take on one or both of those tasks themselves. It's heartbreaking to see a developer being shut down because their latest game didn't quite reach the sales of a previous one or that they didn't meet expectations or that the publisher just didn't want anything to do with that world regardless of its sales (see NCSoft).

There is an offshoot of what I want, happening now with the crowd funded development. But there are perils in that as well. We all know that a high profile take the money and run will happen. One thing I also think will happen is a burnout from the newness of it all and just like now people are going to realize that if I don't have time to play all those games why should I be spending money like I do.
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Harpua3
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2012, 06:15:14 AM »

Quote from: Doopri on September 29, 2012, 02:33:42 PM

*bioware conference room 5 years ago*: "guys itll be great!  EA is going to fully fund us, let us retain our independence and work at our own pace to continue to make the games we love up to our standards!  well be set for life!"

*five years later* "we quit"

why do devs keep thinking that THIS TIME will be different?  or is it just too hard to turn down that initial paycheck, even when they know the clock is ticking?

as a side note, i wonder if the new microbrewery will push the envelope of barrel aging and usher in a new era of canadian sours, only to sell out to inbev in a few years? slywink



You fucking take that last part back!!! Tongue
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2012, 11:09:00 AM »

Quote
An ex-BioWare dev believes that company co-founders Greg Zeschuck and Ray Muzyka retired due to negative fan reaction to Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic

what's really remarkable is that there has been no mention of Dragon Age 2,that got some shit thrown in its direction as well


« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 11:10:33 AM by metallicorphan » Logged

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