BioWare is an American-owned Canadian electronic entertainment company founded in February 1995 by Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuk, and Augustine Yip. BioWare specializes in creating computer and console video games and has become famous for highly praised and successful computer role-playing games such as Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights, both of which won multiple awards. They have also made several successful games that also are console role-playing games as well as PC platform: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins,  Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3. The former three games were later adapted for the PC, while Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 were developed and released for consoles and PC simultaneously. They are currently working on two projects: Dragon Age 3 schedueled for release in 2013 and Mass Effect 4 that are in the early stages

The BioWare Group of studios is now four studios (BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Austin, BioWare Mythic, and BioWare Montreal) comprising the RPG/MMO Group within Electronic Arts, with Muzyka, EA Senior VP and the Group General Manager and Zeschuk EA VP and Group Creative Officer of the BioWare Group; Yip left in early 1997 to return to medicine. Other senior leaders in the BioWare Group (RPG/MMO Group) of Electronic Arts are Rob Denton (EA VP and Group Operations Officer of the BioWare Group), Patrick Buechner (EA VP and Group Marketing Officer of the BioWare Group), Gordon Walton and Rich Vogel (EA VPs and co-General Managers of BioWare Austin), Aaryn Flynn (EA VP and General Manager of BioWare Edmonton), Eugene Evans (EA VP and General Manager of BioWare Mythic, in Fairfax, Virginia), and Yanick Roy (Studio Director of BioWare Montreal).

Company history[edit | edit source]

BioWare was established in February 1995 by Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuk, and Augustine Yip, who had graduated together from medical school at the University of Alberta. Its first game was released the following year. During its ten years as an independent company, BioWare developed Shattered Steel, the Baldur's Gate series, MDK2, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Jade Empire. It had publishing relationships with Interplay (through Black Isle Studios), Infogrames/Atari, LucasArts, and Microsoft.

The next few years saw a number of changes in BioWare's corporate status. In November 2005, it was announced that BioWare and Pandemic Studios (itself founded by former Activision employees) would be joining forces, with private equity fund Elevation Partners investing in the partnership. On October 11, 2007, however, it was announced that this new partnership (organized as VG Holding Corp) had been bought by Electronic Arts. BioWare therefore became a unit of EA, but retained its own branding.

In 2007, BioWare released the science fiction RPG Mass Effect. The following year, BioWare released Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood on the Nintendo DS, its first title for a handheld game console. Near the end of 2009, BioWare released the fantasy RPG Dragon Age: Origins, and in January 2010 Mass Effect 2. Recently, EA announced that BioWare would be merged with Mythic Entertainment, another division of EA, so that they could have all of their RPG games in one company.

BioWare is currently working on at least four further projects. The MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic will be based on BioWare's previous contribution to the Star Wars franchise, and was announced on 21 October 2008, although BioWare had first mentioned an unspecified new collaboration with LucasArts in October the previous year. The other projects are a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 3 and an additional project about which no details have yet been revealed.

The growth of the RPG/MMO Group as part of Electronic Arts in 2008+ has resulted in three additional studios being added to the BioWare Group outside BioWare's original home base in Edmonton. The first, located in Austin, Texas and headed by industry veterans Gordon Walton and Richard Vogel, was created to work on the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG project. Both the studio and the project were announced on March 13, 2006. On March 2, 2009, BioWare announced it had opened a new studio in Montreal, Quebec to assist with existing projects as necessary. In 2009 Mythic Entertainment, based in Fairfax, Virginia, became part of the RPG/MMO Group, later being renamed BioWare Mythic in early 2010.

Electronic Arts announced on June 24, 2009, that they are restructuring their RPG and MMO games development into a new group that includes both Mythic Entertainment and BioWare. This newly formed team (now called the BioWare Group) will be led by Ray Muzyka, co-founder and General Manager of BioWare. With this change, Muzyka becomes Group General Manager of the new RPG/MMO studio group. BioWare’s other co-founder, Greg Zeschuk, will become Group Creative Officer for the new RPG/MMO studio group. Rob Denton will step up as General Manager of Mythic and report to Muzyka, later becoming Group Operations Officer of the new Group. BioWare’s studios remain unchanged and continue to report to Muzyka.

In 2012, the founders of Bioware quited.

Games[edit | edit source]

Name Released Platforms
Shattered Steel 1996 PC, Mac
Baldur's Gate 1998 PC, Mac
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast 1999 PC, Mac
MDK2 2000 Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, PC
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn 2000 PC, Mac
Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal 2001 PC, Mac
Neverwinter Nights 2002 PC, Mac, Linux
Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide 2003 PC, Mac, Linux
Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark 2003 PC, Mac, Linux
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2003 Xbox, PC, Mac
Jade Empire 2005 Xbox, Xbox 360, PC, Mac
Mass Effect 2007 Xbox 360, PC
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood 2008 Nintendo DS
Mass Effect Galaxy 2009 iPhone, iPod Touch
Dragon Age: Origins 2009 Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac
Mass Effect 2 2010 Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening 2010 Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Dragon Age II 2011 Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Star Wars: The Old Republic 2011 PC
Mass Effect 3 2012 Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

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