Yesterday, two men from Edmonton, Alberta in Canada received one of the country’s top honors for their work in the field of video games. These men, Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, are the co-founders of the video game company BioWare.
BioWare was founded back in 1995 shortly after Zeschuk and Muzyka had both graduated from medical school. They released their first game, the mech simulation Shattered Steel, to modest success, but their big break was with the Dungeons & Dragons video game Baldur’s Gate. From there, the company went on to make a wide variety of games, including the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises, more Dungeons & Dragons games, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Honored to be named a Member of the Order of Canada with my friend @DoctorZee! "Edmonton @BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk receive the Order of Canada | CBC News" https://t.co/d3xHMvIXfG
— Ray Muzyka (@RayMuzyka) December 27, 2018
For their “revolutionary contributions to the video game industry as a developer and co-founder of an internationally renowned studio,” Muzyka and Zeschuk have been awarded the Order of Canada, the second highest honor for merit in Canada, by Her Excellency the Right Honorable Julie Payette, Governor Central of Canada.
In an interview with CBC, Muzyka attributed their studio’s success to the quality of their employees. He added:
That’s always been something I think both of us have felt—surround ourselves with people who are smarter than us and passionate and bright, just sparks that you can learn from and grow with. We always tried to treat everybody we worked with with great respect.
Muzyka and Zeschuk both left BioWare, and the video game industry as a whole, in 2012, five years after the studio was acquired by Electronic Arts. They’re still both in the Edmonton area, though. Zeschuk has founded his own brewpub in the city, while Muzyka founded ThresholdImpact, a company which encourages ‘impact investing’ in “disruptive information technology, new media and medical innovations with passionate, capable social entrepreneurs,” and is the chair of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee.