BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk have announced their decision to leave the company.

The pair, known to fans as the 'BioWare doctors', leave the company to pursue alternate careers outside of the video games industry.

Speaking in a pair of open letters, the two doctors thanked colleagues and fans.

"After nearly two decades in videogames, I've decided to move on to pursue an entirely different set of challenges," wrote Muzyka. "This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make; after thinking about it for many months, I made the decision to retire from videogames back in early April 2012 - at that time I provided six months' notice to EA, to help enable a solid transition for my teams at BioWare."

Muzyka suggested that the relationship with EA, who bought BioWare in 2007, hadn't influenced his decision to retire.

"The past five+ years at EA have been very good for me personally," he continued. "I've learned a lot about navigating successfully within a larger publicly traded company, working with - and continually being inspired by - a large, passionate team across many locations. My teams and I have benefited tremendously from the mentorship, wisdom and continuous strong support of EA's leadership team in EA's President Frank Gibeau, COO Peter Moore and CEO John Riccitiello, among many others; the company and its management team have been consistently supportive of BioWare's culture and commitment to quality and creativity.

"I leave BioWare and EA and the video game industry with tremendously positive memories from both the early days at BioWare - Baldur's Gate I and II, Shattered Steel, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Sonic Chronicles, Mass Effect all come to mind, to name a few - and also more recently with BioWare as a division and most recently a Label within EA - during this period, we released Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins and DAII, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Warhammer: Wrath of Heroes, Mass Effect 3, and more. From what I've seen over the past few months, I can attest that the best is yet to come; my teams at all of BioWare's studios have many more fantastic products on the horizon for our great community of fans."

Zeschuk added that his decision to leave wasn't "without significant pain and regret," revealing that he had "reached an unexpected point in my life where I no longer have the passion that I once did for the company, for the games, and for the challenge of creation".

He continued: "Some of you will be curious what I'll be doing next, and I can state that I'm not going to be working in games for a while, and there's a strong possibility that I won't be back.

"After my departure I'm going to be spending significant time with family and friends, as well as pursuing some personal passion-driven projects related to craft beer. The main project I will be working on is a web-based interview show called The Beer Diaries where I interview notable brewers and showcase their beers. If things go well, I'll work on other beer-related shows, apps and projects. If not, I'll have drunk a lot of tasty beers and may be back in games or even something else completely different. Ultimately time will tell."

Muzyka and Zeschuk co-founded BioWare in 1995, and released their first game Shattered Steel a year later.

The pair later developed the classic Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights series', before overseeing development on hit RPG series' Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age and Mass Effect.

The firm was acquired by EA in October 2007.

BioWare's three most recent games, Dragon Age II, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect 3, have each caused controversy amongst fans for their quality and direction.

It was rumoured last month that Zeschuk had left BioWare after ex-Major League Gaming CEO Matthew Bromberg was hired as general manager of BioWare Austin.

BioWare announced its newest game 'Dragon Age 3: Inquisition' yesterday.