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Rumour: Greg Zeschuk leaves RPG giant BioWare. UPDATE: Zeschuk still with BioWare

Friday, 10th August 2012 11:50 GMT By Stace Harman

A string of tell-tale signs suggest that BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk has left the EA-owned company, while EA claim the one-time BioWare Austin general manager is simply following his plan to take some time off after the reorganisation of the company in May of this year.

[UPDATE]
After rumours of his departure from BioWare Austin circulated earlier today, Gamasutra has printed details of an email it received from BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk, which states that he is still with BioWare but in a broader role than previously.

“With regard to BioWare Austin, I handed off the leadership of the studio to Matthew Bromberg quite some time ago (back in May). Ray [Muzyka, BioWare co-founder] and I picked Matthew to take over and he’s been doing a great job with the studio.

“My time in Austin was always planned to have a finite endpoint (my family was still living in Edmonton throughout my time in Austin) and now that I’ve handed the baton to Matt, I will be able to spend more time on a wider range of BioWare games rather than focusing on just one as I did with SWTOR.”

[Original story]
The LinkedIn profile of BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk suggests he left his position as general manager back in May, while a report by German website GamersGlobal claims that neither Greg Zeschuk nor Ray Muzyka were present at a company meeting with other members of the leadership team that took place a few days ago. Their absence was said to be unusual and had not happened before at a meeting of this kind, an internal source apparently claimed.

Rumours suggest that Zeschuk has been replaced by Major League Gaming CEO Matthew Bromberg and that the studio could be re-branded as EA Austin.

Dr Greg Zeschuk and Dr Ray Muzyka founded BioWare in 1995, which became part of EA in 2007 having been responsible for creating the Baldur’s Gate series. BioWare continued its work on epic RPGs with the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, and in December 2011 launched MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

VG247 contacted EA for clarification on Zeschuk’s current position, EA responded to say that it is not issuing any comment at this time.

Thanks, Videogamer.

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30 Comments

  1. BULArmy

    Maybe he come to his senses that BioWare is totally lost to corporate greed and it is turning into a brand. And that he can’t make the games he want because of that.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Sini

    He obviously installed Dragon Age 2.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Talkar

    ^ I lol’d x)

    #3 2 years ago
  4. daytripper

    They keep getting accused of going after the “call of duty” crowd, wouldn’t it make more sense to go after the “skyrim” type crowd ? I feel Bioware has lost some of its edge with EA, I love Mass Effect but at times I feel it has cut corners with either the level design or the in depth conversations you used to have, especially the first game, the conversation choices were not as deep in the last game.

    I hope Mass Effect lives on next generation with solid combat but more in depth RPG and conversations, Skyrim has proved a deep RPG can be successful at retail without trying to dumb it down

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Freek

    If all of this true then it’s Origin and Westwood all over again, you’d think they would have learned from thier mistakes. Criterion better watch out! If the rumours are true.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. GrimRita

    The price you pay for selling your soul to the devil.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. daytripper

    @5 SWTOR = Another Earth and Beyond ?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Talkar

    @4
    Skyrim a deep RPG? Since when?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. daytripper

    @8well it’s a lot deeper than mass effect 2 and 3

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Hirmetrium

    The fact of the matter is we genuinely do not know what is happening. For all we know, Greg might have been struck by a disease, which would be pretty unfortunately, and he’s trying to privately take time off.

    Bioware have not done too bad – but the direction EA have been taking with it (“Bioware is a label”) and some of the more.. weaker recent releases (ME3, DA2, SWTOR) and the lack of new announcements might not bode well.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Erthazus

    SKYRIM type crowd is exactly a Call OF Duty type of crowd.
    It’s a consolized Action Adventure title with RPG elements to it. Soon there will be no RPG elements or skills at all.

    Morrowind aka TES III was indeed RPG, after console games such as Oblivion or SKYRIM there is nothing to argue much. With each title there are less skills and stuff.

    Hell, in Morrowind you could use levitation. Talking about Next Gen RPG Games… In SKYRIM you can’t even use acrobatics skill.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. viralshag

    Wasn’t the Witcher 2… like, one of the best RPGs (supposedly) available on consoles…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Giskard

    Skyrim is the size an ocean with the depth of a puddle. Don’t mistake it for non-dumbed down RPGs. Mass Effect 1/ Dragon Age: Origins was the last good effort out of BioWare, as ME2 was more action than RPG by a mile.

    Unless BioWare get their stuff together, I will only have RPGs from CD Project to look forward to, and they tend to take their sweet merry time.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    @12, Yeah. Probably.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. viralshag

    @14, So if CDP can bring a good RPG to the console, why would consoles be at fault for “lesser” RPGs such as Skyrim and Oblivion?

    #15 2 years ago
  16. daytripper

    Oh fuck look what I’ve started now :(

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Wesk89

    He is taking a break since May to be with his family as GamersGlobal stated in the updates. ;)

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    @15, Technical limitations.

    For example: the only reason why there is no Levitation in Oblivion and SKYRIM is because cities constructed as additional locations and they all require loading which is a shame :(
    In Morrowind cities were a part of the world and you could fly or jump high if your Acrobatics skill was at 100 :D

    Look at the PS3 version. It was a bad port and can you imagine if there was a levitation or Acrobatics with Skyrim level of visual fidelity? Woah.
    + Mainstream gaming that is all over the place.

    and of course Bethesda Games. They can’t do shit and they are not as talented as CD Projekt Red. I’m sure SKYRIM could be as deep as Witcher 2 in terms of storytelling for sure.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DSB

    If true, I kinda like that more than him staying on as a “label manager”.

    That just makes it seem like he sold everything Bioware stood for, for a title and a higher paygrade.

    Certainly does remind you of Bullfrog, don’t it?

    #19 2 years ago
  20. viralshag

    @18, That’s fair enough, I guess. I just think that if a developer CAN bring a good RPG to the consoles, be it in terms of story, gameplay or graphics – then surely the reason for the Skyrims and Oblivions can’t all be down to consoles.

    And this isn’t me just trying to play the console fanboy, I have Skyrim, Oblivion and Witcher 2 on the PC. I just don’t think it’s down to consoles for the state of current RPGs.

    I think it has more to do with those “hardcore” RPGs having a smaller install-base than that of the “action” RPGs, and I think that would apply to both the console and PC market.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. vormison

    The entire video game industry has turned into a mockery of itself. It’s no different than the celebrity gossip column my wife frequents.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Ireland Michael

    @21 lolrosetintedglasses

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Gadzooks!

    Erthazus you braindead little basement dwelling moron. You opened your mouth and shite fell out again.

    I played Morrowind on my Xbox, so no, technical limitations have nothing to do with it.

    Idiot.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Da Man

    Gamer community now consists of quite a few people who found a purpose in shitty internet existence, ‘discussing’ and ‘debating’ theoretical topics with passionate but equally inane and pointless enthusiasm. Being too underdeveloped with their 5 classes of education to grasp anything beyond Fight Club and Iron Maiden songs texts, they seek freedom in endless e-ramblings.. It only takes some high profile troll or enough forum posts from a search engine to persuade them that they’re on to something.

    Such wasn’t the case in the times of Darkwing Duck and even early 00s. Those were the days people just played video games fully realizing they’re just illusive toys exploiting 3d modeling and programming languages.

    Obv not surprising they tend to escalate everything according to their pseudo research.. It’s very likely Zeschuk just made quite enough cash already.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. viralshag

    @24, Why are you on such a downer all the time these days… You weren’t always like this. :(

    #25 2 years ago
  26. manamana

    Oh good, another candidate for a indie/kickstarter project on next-gen …

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Da Man

    I’m just saying cause having to space bar thru the same things is getting old.

    N4G was entertaining when I saw it for the first time.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. DarkElfa

    @16, greatest Skyrim quote ever.

    “Skyrim is the size an ocean with the depth of a puddle.”

    #28 2 years ago
  29. DSB

    I’m with daytripper on that. Bioware is a husk these days (total ME pun).

    The original Mass Effect got everything wrong but the feel of the characters, and that totally redeemed it for me. I wasn’t scared of the new style going into Mass Effect 2, but it just ended up disgusting me. No context, just a futuristic Rainbow Six Vegas clone that didn’t go anywhere.

    Then again, I’m starting to reconsider my past notion of Bioware as well. I picked up Jade Empire, and it’s pretty good in a lot of ways, but some of the dialogue in the beginning is just so bad it makes me want to slap the person who wrote it.

    People just randomly reminding you that you’re an orphan, in case you’d forgotten. I mean, reminding me of what a terrible cliché I am is pretty bad, but assuming that I’m too daft to know that is just unacceptable :P

    @28 Beautiful!

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Ireland Michael

    @29 That and the fact that the better Star Wars story was written by Obsidian.

    BioWare has always been overrated. I enjoy their games, they create some create lore and worlds, but their actual writing capabilities are well below par. Dragon Age 2 was an utter mess.

    #30 2 years ago

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