As the gaming world prepares for the release of BioWare’s upcoming co-operative action-RPG, Anthem, two of the original founders of the nearly 25-year-old company have been recognized for their achievements in the community.
On December 27th, 2018, Governor General Julie Payette announced that BioWare’s former founders, Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, were to be inducted into the Order of Canada, which is an honor given to individuals who have made a positive impact within the lives other people and society as a whole. The pair joined 103 other Canadian individuals from other professions ranging from Olympian, playwright, broadcaster, and more.
The Order of Canada was created in 1967, and is considered one of the country’s top honors. Appointments for entry into the Order of Canada are made on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.
"It was shocking," Zeschuk told CBC News in an interview. "We just try to do great stuff and try and help people and try and work with great people and build things, and to be recognized for that is really an amazing honour."
The duo - who retired from the gaming industry in 2012 - were awarded the honor for their "revolutionary contributions to the video game industry as a developer and co-founder of an internationally renowned studio." However, Muzyka said that it was the employees of BioWare who deserved the credit.
"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.”
Zeschuk also believes that the honor is more of a testament to the people they worked with throughout the years, rather than just he and Muzyka.
"I think that's a key part of it, how we do it and how our philosophy around making a business and building businesses and working with people, building people up."
BioWare got its start in Zeschuk’s basement in 1995, but grew to include offices located around the world with roughly 1,500 employees. The studio is responsible for developing big-name, fan-favorite franchises including Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age. Electronic Arts bought the company in 2008, but the studio has kept its headquarters in Edmonton, Canada since the beginning.
BioWare’s next major title, Anthem, is slated for release on February 22nd for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.