Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, the retired doctors who founded BioWare, will be receiving a well earned Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Game Developers Choice Awards.
The popular duo announced their retirement last September after putting the finishing touches on their magnum opus swan song, the Mass Effect trilogy. Along with founding one of gaming's most influential RPG studios, they left behind a legacy of reigniting western RPGs through their Infinity Engine, surviving the perilous jump into EA's "bear hug," and a decade and a half wonderful games from Baldur's Gate, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Jade Empire to their more recent hits Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins.
GDC events manager Meggan Scavio claims there have never been quite a pair like Muzyka and Zeschuk.
"The BioWare Doctors are truly a unique breed. Not only have they created some of the most emotionally-engaging and beloved games ever made, they are two of the most passionate, engaging, just all-around nice guys anyone could be fortunate enough to meet. Anyone, be they a longtime colleague or a fan who's met them only once at an event like GDC can tell you they treat everyone like a friend, and I am so pleased we can show them our deep appreciation this year with this award."
"There's no denying the deep footprint Ray and Greg have made, and how much their dedication and leadership will be missed in our industry. We're proud to honor them with the Lifetime Achievement Award as they parlay into their next careers."
A well deserved award indeed. BioWare hit a streak of genius few studios have ever been able to rival over the last decade, constantly outdoing themselves and rewriting the rules of how we perceive RPGs. No doubt their influence can even be felt by gamers who don't even bother with the RPG genre. I'd go so far as to call them the most influential development studio of the 2000s.
The next installment in the Mass Effect series is only in planning now, and they are hard at work getting the Frostbite 2 engine to power the upcoming Dragon Age 3: Inquisition to run on next generation technology. That's when we will get to truly gauge if BioWare will survive the loss of its beloved leaders.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is determined by the Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee which includes Valve's Doug Lombardi, Arkane Studios' Harvey Smith, Microsoft's Chris Charla and PopCap's John Vechey. The GDC Award Show will be hosted by Double Fine's Tim Schaffer on March 27th at 6:30 EST.