Dragon Age: Origins marked the first entry in BioWare's fantasy RPG series, bringing players into the world of Thedas. Praised for immersive storytelling and strong worldbuilding, it's strange to think this single-player adventure once had a big multiplayer mode planned.
However, according to an Origins writer, Jay Turner, that's exactly what happened. Speaking with TheGamer for an interview during their Dragon Age Week, Turner was asked how the game changed across development, confirming:
The big [change] was a multiplayer mode that was cut sometime in the middle of development. There was celebration in the streets at that point because multiplayer was causing all sorts of problems for single-player, and those of us focused on the story got a lot of resources and freedom back.
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Dragon Age: Origins Was Nearly A Multiplayer Game, Influencing Star Wars: The Old Republic
Elaborating on this further, Origins' creative director, Dan Tudge, confirmed cutting multiplayer was one of his "most important" decisions made at the time, allowing greater focus on their single player vision. While that led to a divided response between staff members, this idea wasn't completely scrapped.
According to producer Kevin Loh, the ideas around Origins' multiplayer eventually created the "backbone" of Star Wars: The Old Republic's dialogue system, meaning that concept wasn't entirely lost. It's a fascinating look at what Origins could've been, and we'd certainly recommend checking out the original interview when you can.