Co-founders of the award-winning BioWare studio Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to the art and science of games at the 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs).
The GDCAs, held yearly at GDC, are the leading peer-based video game industry awards celebrating the industry's top games and developers.
Both Choice and IGF Awards will see the return of industry-favorite hosts with Tim Schafer, the LucasArts veteran and President and CEO of Double Fine Productions (Brutal Legend,
The Cave), hosting the Choice Awards ceremony and Pocketwatch Games' Andy Schatz, creator of 2010 Independent Games Festival Grand Prize winner
Monaco, returning as host of the Independent Games Festival awards.
Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Muzyka and Zeschuk, known throughout the game development community as the "BioWare Doctors," met while in medical school at the University of Alberta where they learned they shared a passion for video game development.
They each continued to moonlight as doctors during the early years of BioWare but then transitioned to the video game industry full time as they and their passionate teams at BioWare went on to create some of the industry's most influential, highly praised and critically acclaimed role-playing games such as Baldur's Gate,
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic,
Dragon Age and
Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The release of Baldur's Gate put BioWare on the game development map and
Neverwinter Nights, the third person role-playing game set in a fantasy world, further propelled the studio's success;
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic solidified BioWare's reputation as an RPG powerhouse, winning multiple GDCAs in 2004 including top honors for Best Game. That same year, the Doctors were co-recipients of the IGDA Ambassador Award for their contributions to the game development community and charities at large.
After the acquisition by Electronic Arts in 2008, the Doctors successfully led BioWare in developing two award-winning original IPs - the Mass Effect and
Dragon Age series. The
Mass Effect games, a series of emotionally engaging science fiction action role-playing shooters, have received more than 380 industry awards and counting. Like the
Mass Effect series, the
Dragon Age games - with more than 80 "Best Of" awards so far - are known for some of the industry's greatest narrative, expansive worlds, deep character development, romances, voice acting and visual arts.
In 2011, BioWare launched Star Wars: The Old Republic, which was its first massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and the studio's biggest endeavor to date. The game has won more than 115 awards, including Best New Online Game at the 2012 Game Developers Choice Online Awards. In September 2012, the Doctors announced their retirement from games to pursue other passions: Muzyka's next chapter will involve mentoring and investing in technology, new media, medical innovation and social entrepreneurs, and impact investing at his new company, Threshold Impact, while Zeschuk recently debuted a new web-based documentary-interview series and website, "The Beer Diaries," which will showcase craft breweries around the world.
"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," said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of all GDC events. "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."
Lifetime Achievement recipients are chosen by the Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, which includes game industry notables such as Doug Lombardi (Valve), Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), Harvey Smith (Arkane), Raph Koster (Playdom), Chris Charla (Microsoft), and John Vechey (PopCap).
Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk will be honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, taking place on Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm at the Moscone Convention Center during GDC 2013 in San Francisco. The ceremony is open to all GDC 2013 attendees.