Based in Alberta in Canada, BioWare are a rather good computer games development company.

The company was founded by three Med School students, Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuck and Aug Yip. Although training to be doctors, the three spent most of their time reading comics, roleplaying or messing around on computers. Combining their computing and medical expertise, the three wrote a few pieces of commercial medical simulation software, and all graduated. While Aug Yip then resumed his work with medicine, Greg and Ray felt that they were in the wrong field. Hooking up with a bunch of artists and programmers, they turned BioWare into a games company. A fantastic games company.

Setting up a publishing deal through Interplay/Black Isle, the first BioWare title was the mech combat simulator Shattered Steel, which was reasonably well recieved but suffered by comparison to the Mechwarrior series. BioWare then followed this up with the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons RPG Baldur's Gate, and the rest is pretty much history.

Released in 1998, BG was a huge, huge success, and won just about every industry award avaliable. An expansion pack, Tales of the Sword Coast, soon followed, with the high quality of the original being mostly maintained. A sequel, Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, was released in late 2000, surpassing the original in every way possible, and generally being a game you must own.

Baldur's Gate was powered by the Infinity Engine, which Bioware licenced to Black Isle Studios for the creation of Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale. These titles were not actually developed by BioWare.

BioWare also took over the reins of the MDK series, original developed by Shiny Entertainment. MDK2 picked up good reviews, and gave BioWare experience working with the Playstation 2 and Dreamcast.

As of writing, BioWare are working on two potentially vast projects. Bioware are still a fairly small company, and have maintained a friendly, non-corporate image. A great deal of the changes between BG1 and BG2 were due to fan suggestion, and the development team ran a "suggestions" messageboard for a long time before development on the game even began. The gam is even stuffed with in-jokes for veterans of the BG messageboards. In addition, their site is very informal, and they'll happily link to any webcomics that are having a laugh at their expense (Megatokyo seems to be a firm favourite). Lastly, they're fairly Mac friendly, with most titles seeing a Mac port after only a short delay.

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