Dr. Ray Muzyka, Founder and CEO, ThresholdImpact
Ray co-founded BioWare in the early 1990s with the other co-founder of BioWare, Dr. Greg Zeschuk, after they earned their medical degrees at the University of Alberta.
After graduation and residency, Muzyka practiced rural Emergency and Family medicine in Northern Alberta for two years full time, but medicine became more and more a part-time ‘hobby’ over the following eight years, with his second career through the remainder of the 1990s and beyond leading BioWare as its CEO, helping navigate the path forward as it rapidly increased in size and international scope of distribution. He retired his stethoscope (and clinical practice) in 2001.
BioWare was the second fastest growing company in Alberta in both 1999 and 2003, and the fastest growing company in Alberta in 2002 (per Alberta Venture), and has won multiple industry awards for quality and innovation, including multiple Game of the Year awards from numerous publications and associations such as the British Academy of Film and Television, the International Game Developers’ Association, and the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, as well as multiple years of inclusion on Canada’s Top 100 Employers Awards, Alberta’s Top 55 Employers Awards, and Financial Post’s Ten Best Employers to Work for.
BioWare received a major private equity investment from Elevation Partners in 2005 which enabled further growth to new locations and a ramp up to self-fund distribution and development.
After selling BioWare to Electronic Arts in early 2008, Muzyka became a General Manager and Vice President at EA in addition to his CEO role at BioWare, and in 2009 was promoted to Senior Vice President and Group General Manager of EA’s BioWare Label, which in 2012 comprised eight BioWare studios and ~2000 (1400 full-time + part-time) staff worldwide, with ~$500MM USD annual revenue.
During the course of his role at BioWare/EA Muzyka started studios from scratch (BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Austin, BioWare Montreal, BioWare Ireland), merged existing EA studios (Mythic, 2009; EA Redwood Shores, 2011; EA Los Angeles, 2011) into the BioWare label, and acquired external new teams (Klicknation, 2011). He was responsible for negotiating and managing the intellectual property agreement with LucasArts/LucasFilm for the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and The Old Republic projects, as well as the Mass Effect movie agreement with Legendary Entertainment and Arad Productions, and multiple other major agreements with Microsoft, Sega, Atari, Hasbro, Sony, Nintendo, Epic, Apple and other companies.
In October 2012 Muzyka announced his retirement from BioWare/EA after two decades in videogames, with his third ‘career chapter’ focused on mentoring and investing in entrepreneurs in technology, new media, medical innovations in diagnostics and therapeutics, and social entrepreneurship and impact investment. He is an active angel investor in a number of technology, medical and social enterprises, and as his next career chapter ramps up, has joined a number of organizations focused on venture capital investing and social entrepreneurship and impact investment.
Muzyka obtained his Bachelor of Medical Science degree from the University of Alberta in 1990, his Medical Doctorate from the University of Alberta in 1992, his CCFP from the University of Alberta in 1994, and his Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario (Ivey School of Business) in 2001.
Dr. Muzyka is a member (since 2004) of the Young Presidents’ Organization, a member of the A100, on the Advisory Board of Voyager Capital, a member of the Investment Committee and Venture Advisor at iNovia Venture Capital, the Founding Chair of the University of Alberta Venture Mentoring Service Board of Advisors, a member of the Ashoka Support Network, and served from 2014-2020 as a Public Member on the Board of Governors of the University of Alberta, and as Chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee from 2017-2020. He is a mentor in the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL West, CDL Rockies and CDL Toronto), and was the Chair from 2017-2019 of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee (ARIAC) and a former member of the Alberta Premier’s Advisory Committee on the Economy as well as serving on multiple other private company boards. He previously served on the Board of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences from 2001-2008, was an invited member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA LA Chapter) and was on the Board of Trustees of the Stollery Children’s Health Foundation from 2012-2015.
Dr. Muzyka was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2018. Muzyka was also inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame in 2018, and was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame in 2011 for his lifetime of work in interactive entertainment as well as being named the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the IGDA’s Game Developers Choice Awards in 2013. Dr. Muzyka received the inaugural Alumni Innovation Award in 2015 from the University of Alberta. He was named as the 2017 Allard Chair in Business at the MacEwan University’s School of Business, and as an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary Club International in 2016, in recognition for his philanthropic efforts, and received the 2019 Rod Charko Service Award presented by VCAA, for his efforts to support venture capital and the technology ecosystem in Alberta. Dr. Muzyka was named into Canada’s Top 40 under 40 in 2001, received Ernst & Young’s 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year award (IT, Prairies Region) and the BDC 1997 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, among other awards.