Mass Effect Changed Everything in The Old Republic
The Old Republic wasn’t always a massive behemoth, reports CVG. At one point, The Old Republic pulled a Dragon Age, and “player characters were not going to be voiced” since “it’s a massively insane expenditure and hugely complicated to do. You have to cast 16 of the best actors ever and then hold them for eternity.”
And then, Mass Effect happened and everything changed. “”Mass Effect came out when we were very early into development. I remember walking up to James Ohlen – the lead designer on both Baldur’s Gate Games, Knights Of the Old Republic and both Dragon Age games. We both saw Mass Effect and were like: ‘Okay. There is no choice here.’
Seeing a great opportunity before them, they approached LucasArts with two versions of The Old Republic, “one with VO and one without and we attached a price tag to it.” Going in, they thought it was ensured that they’d get rejected. Full voice acting in an MMO? Admittedly, the thought seems ridiculous. It’s not just the sheer size of the undertaking, but also the inherent danger that comes with getting voice acting “right.” Still, LucasArts gave the okay and the rest is, as they say, history.
“We had to go back and rewrite everything. The story telling system is totally inked from Mass Effect. “