Raymond Alexander Muzyka
|Other names||Raymond Muzyka|
|Known for||Founder of BioWare|
|Awards||AIAS Hall of Fame Award (2011)|
Raymond Alexander Muzyka CM is a Canadian investor, entrepreneur and physician. Originally trained as a medical doctor and practicing as an emergency department and family physician after graduation, he is the co-founder of video game developer BioWare, and was CEO, senior vice president, and general manager of the BioWare label of Electronic Arts. In October 2012 he announced that he was embarking on a 'third career' mentoring and angel investing in technology, new media, medical and social entrepreneurs, and impact investing at ThresholdImpact.
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order and the second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada. It comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is the personal gift of Canada's monarch.
An investor is a person that allocates capital with the expectation of a future financial return. Types of investments include: equity, debt securities, real estate, currency, commodity, token, derivatives such as put and call options, futures, forwards, etc. This definition makes no distinction between the investors in the primary and secondary markets. That is, someone who provides a business with capital and someone who buys a stock are both investors. An investor who owns a stock is a shareholder.
A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients, and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines, such as anatomy and physiology, underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.
Muzyka co-founded BioWare, which was incorporated in 1995, with Greg Zeschuk and Augustine Yip, in the early 1990s after they earned their medical degrees at the University of Alberta.After selling BioWare to Electronic Arts in 2008, Muzyka became a general manager and vice president at EA in addition to his CEO role at BioWare, and subsequently was promoted to senior vice president and general manager of the BioWare label at EA.
BioWare is a Canadian video game developer based in Edmonton, Alberta. It was founded in May 1995 by newly graduated medical doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, alongside Trent Oster, Brent Oster, Marcel Zeschuk and Augustine Yip. As of 2007, the company is owned by American publisher Electronic Arts.
Gregory Zeschuk is a former VP at Electronic Arts and General Manager at BioWare Austin. He co-founded BioWare in 1995 with Ray Muzyka and Augustine Yip, after all three earned their medical degrees from the University of Alberta. Zeschuk announced his retirement from BioWare on September 18, 2012. He is currently involved in a number of projects related to the craft-beer industry, including the production of a web-based interview show known as "The Beer Diaries." Greg is also the chairman of the board of the smart playground technology startup, Biba Ventures based in Vancouver, BC.
The University of Alberta is a public research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It was founded in 1908 by Alexander Cameron Rutherford, the first premier of Alberta, and Henry Marshall Tory, its first president. Its enabling legislation is the Post-secondary Learning Act. The university is considered a “Comprehensive academic and research university” (CARU), which means that it offers a range of academic and professional programs, which generally lead to undergraduate and graduate level credentials, and have a strong research focus.
In addition to his project development role, Muzyka has also managed the financial, human resources, operations, marketing and legal business side of BioWare, and he completed his executive Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program in 2001 at the Ivey School of Business, UWO.He completed his Medical Doctorate (MD) in 1992 from the University of Alberta, and subsequently obtained his specialization from the Canadian College of Family Physicians (CCFP) in 1994. Muzyka was named as one of Canada's "Top 40 under 40" in 2001, received Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award (Software and Information, Prairies) in 2001, and the BDC Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1997. Muzyka also graduated from Old Scona Academic High School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where he took the International Baccalaureate program, finishing fourth worldwide and first in North America the year he graduated. Muzyka was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame in 2011., received the Lifetime Achievement award from the International Game Developers Choice Awards in 2013, and was named as the 2017 Allard Chair in Business at MacEwan University. He was named into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame in 2018. On December 27, 2018, Muzyka was appointed to the Order of Canada.
The University of Western Ontario (UWO), corporately branded as Western University as of 2012 and commonly shortened to Western, is a public research university in London, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is on 455 hectares of land, surrounded by residential neighbourhoods and the Thames River bisecting the campus's eastern portion. The university operates twelve academic faculties and schools. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.
The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is an international educational foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and founded in 1968. It offers four educational programmes: the IB Diploma Programme and the IB Career-related Programme for students aged 16 to 19, the IB Middle Years Programme for students aged 11 to 16, and the IB Primary Years Programme for children aged 3 to 12. To teach these programmes, schools must be authorized by the International Baccalaureate.
Muzyka is an active member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO),and a Charter Member of the A100 since 2012. He also serves as the Founding Chair of the University of Alberta Venture Mentoring Service since fall 2013, a program intended to help develop, uplift and inspire University of Alberta student and alumni entrepreneurs by creating excellent mentorship experiences for both entrepreneurs and mentors. Muzyka is also a member of the University of Alberta Board of Governors. He serves as a mentor in the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL West Prime and Health, CDL Rockies Prime, CDL Toronto Health). Muzyka was from 2001–2008 a board member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. Muzyka served the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation as a volunteer Director on their Board of Trustees from 2012 to late 2015.
YPO is a network of young chief executives with approximately 27,000 members in more than 130 countries, according to the organization's 2019 YPO international fact sheet.
The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a seed-stage program for scalable, science-based companies. Launched in 2012, the program employs an objectives-based mentoring process with the goal of maximizing equity-value creation. Its slogan is "Build Something Massive."
The Stollery Children's Hospital is a 218 bed children's hospital that opened in October 2001. It is a "hospital within a hospital," being situated within the University of Alberta Hospital and co-located with Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute in the Walter C. Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
In October 2012 Muzyka announced on the BioWare website that he was retiring from the video game industry and that he is moving on to a 'third career chapter', mentoring and investing in entrepreneurs in technology, new media, medical innovation, and social entrepreneurs and impact investing.He announced his new company, Threshold Impact, in early 2013, to be focused on "sustainable, profitable impact investing".
Impact investing refers to investments "made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return". Impact investments provide capital to address social and/or environmental issues.
An avid poker player who plays in the WSOP and other events each year, Muzyka won the inaugural DICE poker tournament,in 2006 which featured a range of notable poker celebrities such as Scott Fischman, Chris Ferguson and Perry Friedman, playing heads-up with Mike Morhaime from Blizzard Entertainment at the final table. He also became the only player thus far to win the DICE tournament twice, when he chopped the final table with three other players for first place again in the 2010 DICE tournament. He competed in the 2008 WCPC CPT Main Event (Western Canadian Main Event, Canadian Poker Tour) and chopped the final table with the final four players to take home the 2008 WCPC ring. He finished 374th of 7319 players in the 2010 Main Event of the WSOP.
Scott Fischman is an American professional poker player based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Christopher Philip Ferguson is an American professional poker player. He has won six World Series of Poker events, including the 2000 WSOP Main Event, and the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship.
Perry Friedman is an American professional poker player who won the 2002 World Series of Poker $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better event and is a founding member of the Tiltboys.
At the Game Developers Choice Awards, on March 27, 2013, Muzyka was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.
On December 27, 2018, Muzyka was appointed to the Order of Canada.
Baldur's Gate is a series of role-playing video games set in the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting. The game has spawned two series, known as the Bhaalspawn Saga and the Dark Alliance, both taking place mostly within the Western Heartlands, but the Bhaalspawn Saga extends to Amn and Tethyr. The Dark Alliance series was released for consoles and was critically and commercially successful. The Bhaalspawn Saga was critically acclaimed for using pausable realtime gameplay, which is credited with revitalizing the computer role-playing game (CRPG) genre.
Neverwinter Nights is a third-person role-playing video game developed by BioWare. Interplay Entertainment was originally set to publish the game, but financial difficulties led to it being taken over by Infogrames, who released the game under their Atari range of titles. It was released for Microsoft Windows on June 18, 2002. BioWare later released a Linux client in June 2003, requiring a purchased copy of the game to play. MacSoft released a Mac OS X port in August 2003.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a role-playing video game set in the Star Wars universe. Developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts, the game was released for the Xbox on July 15, 2003, and for Microsoft Windows on November 19, 2003. The game was later ported to Mac OS X, iOS, and Android by Aspyr, and it is playable on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One via their respective backward compatibility features.
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is a role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by Interplay Entertainment. It is the sequel to Baldur's Gate (1998) and was released for Microsoft Windows in September 2000. Like Baldur's Gate, the game takes place in the Forgotten Realms—a fantasy campaign setting—and is based on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition rules. Powered by BioWare's Infinity Engine, Baldur's Gate II uses an isometric perspective and pausable real-time gameplay. The player controls a party of up to six characters, one of whom is the player-created protagonist, while the others are certain characters recruited from the game world.
Dragon Age: Origins is a role-playing game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts. It is the first game in the Dragon Age franchise, and was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in November 2009, and for Mac OS X in December 2009. Set in the fictional kingdom of Ferelden during a period of civil strife, the game puts the player in the role of a warrior, mage, or rogue coming from an elven, human, or dwarven background. The player character is recruited into the Grey Wardens, an ancient order that stands against demonic forces known as "Darkspawn", and is tasked with defeating the Archdemon that commands them and ending their invasion. The game is played from a third-person perspective that can be shifted to a top-down perspective. Throughout the game, players encounter various companions, who play major roles in the game's plot and gameplay.
Minsc is a fictional character in the Baldur's Gate series of Dungeons & Dragons role-playing video games developed by BioWare. He originated from the pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons sessions held by the lead designer of Baldur's Gate, James Ohlen, and was expanded upon by the game's lead writer, Lukas Kristjanson. His video game debut was in Baldur's Gate as a companion character who can join the player's party. He also appears in the sequel, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, the expansion, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, and the 2015 game Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, as well as in promotions relating to the titles. Minsc is voiced by Jim Cummings in his video game appearances.
Jade Empire is an action role-playing game developed by BioWare, originally published by Microsoft Game Studios in 2005 as an Xbox exclusive. It was later ported to Microsoft Windows personal computers (PC) and published by 2K Games in 2007. Later ports to macOS (2008) and mobile platforms (2016) were handled respectively by TransGaming and Aspyr. Set in a world based on Chinese mythology, players control the last surviving Spirit Monk on a quest to save their tutor Master Li and defeat the forces of corrupt emperor Sun Hai. The Spirit Monk is guided through a linear narrative, completing quests and engaging in action-based combat. With morality-based dialogue choices during conversations, the player can impact both story and gameplay progression in various ways.
Neverwinter Nights 2 is a role-playing video game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Atari, Inc. It is the sequel to BioWare's Neverwinter Nights, based on the Dungeons & Dragons pencil and paper fantasy role-playing game. Neverwinter Nights 2 utilizes an adaptation of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition rules. Players create player characters to represent themselves in the game, using the same character creation rules as found in the Dungeons & Dragons game. They may gain the assistance of additional party members, and they eventually acquire a keep that can be used as a base of operations. Neverwinter Nights 2 is set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting—in and around the city of Neverwinter. The story is mostly unrelated to Neverwinter Nights and follows the journey of an orphaned adventurer investigating a group of mysterious artifacts known as "silver shards" and their connection to an ancient, evil spirit known as the King of Shadows.
Baldur's Gate is a fantasy role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published in 1998 by Interplay Entertainment. It is the first game in the Baldur's Gate series and takes place in the Forgotten Realms, a high fantasy campaign setting, using a modified version of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) 2nd edition rules. It was the first game to use the Infinity Engine for its graphics, with Interplay using the engine for other Forgotten Realms-licensed games, including the Icewind Dale series, as well as other licensed D&D campaign worlds such as Planescape: Torment. The game's story focuses on players controlling a protagonist of their own creation who finds themselves travelling across the Sword Coast alongside a party of companions, to unravel the mystery surrounding a sudden iron crisis affecting the region and attempting to discover the culprits behind it, while uncovering dark secrets about their origins and dealing with attempts on their life.
Drew Karpyshyn is a Canadian video game scenario writer, scriptwriter and novelist. He served as a senior writer for BioWare's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and lead writer for the first two Mass Effect video games. He left BioWare in 2012 to focus on his Chaos Born novels, and returned to it three years later in 2015. On March 9, 2018, he announced he was once again leaving BioWare to focus on his independent work.
James Ohlen is a video game designer. He was Senior Creative Director of BioWare where he worked for 22 years prior to starting the publishing company Arcanum Worlds in 2018.
Darkness over Daggerford is an expansion pack for BioWare's Neverwinter Nights role-playing video game. It was released for digital distribution on August 16, 2006. Considered a user-made mod, the game was created by Canadian company Ossian Studios, headed by former BioWare employee Alan Miranda.
Alan Miranda is an American computer game designer.
Ossian Studios Inc. is a developer of role-playing games for the Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 franchise of PC games.
Casey Hudson is a Canadian video game developer, known for his work at several of BioWare's video games, and mainly the Mass Effect trilogy as game director.
David Gaider is a Canadian writer and game designer, who worked for Edmonton, Alberta-located game developer BioWare from 1999 to 2016.
Beamdog is a Canadian video game developer, publisher, and distributor founded in 2009 by BioWare co-founder Trent Oster and BioWare lead programmer Cameron Tofer. Beamdog's distribution service was launched in July 2010.