Fan Negativity Cited as Reason for BioWare Founders' Retirement
Written Friday, September 28, 2012 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
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."
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.