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BioWare Corporation

Overview

BioWare Corp. is a game development studio founded by medical doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk in February 1995. It is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. BioWare specializes in RPGs (role-playing games) and only released two products in other genres so far, their first game Shattered Steel (1996) and MDK 2 (2000).

Among their most important franchises are Baldur's Gate , Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. They also created Neverwinter Nights (2002), the Star Wars-inspired RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003) and Jade Empire (2005).

The company often has been working together with Black Isle Studios for Baldur's Gate games. Obsidian Entertainment, where most of the former Black Isle employees move on to, also created the sequel to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Their in-house developed engines (Aurora, Infinity, Odyssey) have often been used for third party games.

On 3rd November 2005 the company formed an alliance with Pandemic Studios, backed financially by Elevation Partners. Through the operation, a holding company called BioWare/Pandemic Studios was created. BioWare's two co-founders and Pandemic's two co-founders, Andrew Goldman and Josh Resnick become shareholders and senior executives. John Riccitiello from Elevation became the company's CEO. On October 11, 2007, this partnership was bought by Electronic Arts.

On 19th September 2006 BioWare announced the formation of a handheld development group, led by project director Dan Tudge. Earlier, on 13rd March 2006 they opened an additional studio in Austin, Texas, headed by Gordon Walton and Richard Vogel.

On 18th September 2012 it was confirmed both founders left the company. Ray Muzaka said to retire from the games industry entirely, stating "I've largely personally achieved what I wanted in videogames". Greg Zeschuk shared a similar sentiment, but said he would not work on games for a while and added: "[...] there’s a strong possibility that I won't be back".

Trivia

In the German gaming magazine PC Player (issue 01/2001) BioWare Corporation received a special award as "Developer of the Year 2000".

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