On Greg

Greg was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and after a relatively uneventful childhood he attended the University of Alberta where he earned a medical degree.  Just prior to medical school Greg met Ray Muzyka, his future colleague in medicine, but more importantly, also his future business partner at BioWare.

After graduating from medical school at the University of Alberta in 1992 Greg spent a year in Akron, Ohio as a medical intern before returning to Edmonton to finish his Family Medicine training in 1994.  It was shortly after this that Greg formally teamed up with Ray (and a third partner, a medical doctor named Augustine Yip) to start BioWare Corp.  While BioWare Corp officially incorporated in February 1995, in the early 90’s, prior to even leaving medical school Greg, Ray and Aug made some medical education software that was used at the university and laid the foundation for their future work on video games.

BioWare started in Greg’s basement in Edmonton, which had notoriously low ceilings; these weren’t a problem for Greg as his hair would brush the ceiling when standing at full height, but for the tall Muzyka the low clearance was a menace, and more than once Ray massaged his skull inadvertently.  Wisely, the duo moved to an office with a taller ceiling and started hiring people to work on their big game, Battleground Infinity!  Never to see the light of day, Battleground Infinity was actually (perhaps inadvertently) designed as a MMO; when it was signed by Interplay in the mid 90’s it was converted into the beloved Baldur’s Gate.  BioWare’s first game, Shattered Steel, was also in production at the time and was released in 1996.

Greg and Ray went on to build BioWare over nearly 20 years (Aug returned to medicine in 1997) and made some of the most beloved Roleplaying Games ever built: Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic are some of the games BioWare created.  Initially, and for many years, Greg and Ray acted as Joint CEOs and shared many of the management responsibilities for BioWare.  This was always the source of surprise and consternation as folks had trouble understanding how they could share leadership responsibilities, but they did successfully for many years.  Initially both Greg and Ray were very directly involved in creating and running BioWare’s games, but over time they handed off responsibility for designing and directly managing BioWare’s games to talented leaders within the company.  Greg and Ray never divested all involvement from the games and remained very involved in the conception and completion stages; they both loved playtesting BioWare’s game and sharing feedback and perspectives with BioWare’s development teams.

In BioWare’s later years Ray became BioWare’s General Manager and Greg did a variety of odd jobs around the company, with his favorite being the Vice President of Entertainment and Miscellaneous (yes, it’s true).  In reality Greg was filling in gaps and taking care of important aspects of the business that needed specific attention while Ray provided consistent management and long term strategic leadership.  Ultimately Greg took on a role as General Manager of BioWare’s Austin studio to help the team guide Star Wars: The Old Republic to a successful conclusion.

Along the way BioWare grew to be an important player in the videogame industry and was purchased by Elevation Partners, a private equity firm in 2005, and later by Electronic Arts, one of the largest game publishers in the world, in 2007, in one of the largest private sales ever in the videogame space.  As part of EA, BioWare eventually became one of the four key development labels in the company.  BioWare released multiple successful games with EA and after five years at the company Ray and Greg left to pursue new interests.  In Greg’s case, his driving passion was beer, so he started a project called the Beer Diaries.  If you’re interested in learning more about the Beer Diaries, check out TheBeerDiaries.TV!