Destiny developer Bungie was forced to replace Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage due to the actor's availability, the developer has said.
Dinklage has been replaced by Uncharted voice actor Nolan North in Destiny's upcoming expansion The Taken King. Dinklage's existing dialogue in the base game will also be replaced at the same time.
Speaking in an interview with Game Informer, executive producer Mark Noseworthy was asked whether Dinklage was ditched due to fan criticism of the character or his performance, or whether it had just been due to "Hollywood nonsense".
"It's more on the nonsense side of things," Noseworthy responded. "Dinklage was awesome to work with but we needed to work with someone who is more available. Nolan is a pro, this is his thing.
"You can just call him up and say 'hey, next week we're doing this internal play test and it would be great to get some Ghost dialogue in there'. And he's available."
The Taken King will see Ghost's role ramp up to become more of an important character in the game's overall story. He will also be given an expanded role as a lore-giver, and players will be able to use their robot buddy to scan the environment for extra story snippets.
The expansion places a much greater focus on story in general, including a particular focus on the characters of Cayde-6, voiced by Firefly actor Nathan Fillion, and Eris Morn.
"Fillion is f***ing awesome," creative director Luke Smith added. "He doesn't get to show up enough, and he's so good."
The Taken King will include dialogue between multiple characters during missions, along with many more cut-scenes.
Missions from the base Destiny game are also getting reorganised, and will now unlock via progress along specific quest lines.
"The questification of the Year One content, aligning it with the player experience in The Taken King, reveals some things which were, I think, a little scary to the Bungie of a year ago," Smith concluded. "It does reveal the RPG nature of the game.
"Probably a year ago we would have been more nervous about that."
The lack of a clear, comprehensive story was one of the major criticisms of Destiny when it launched last September.
But the game had not always been planned that way. Pages of story and script were penned during the shooter's mammoth six year development, but were ultimately left out of the game. And a year before the game shipped, veteran Bungie writer Joe Staten left the company. Unconfirmed reports suggested that this was all due to a desire for a greater emphasis on the game as a shooter.
Regardless, the final version of Destiny shipped with just a handful of cut-scenes. Additional story details were made available via collectible Grimoire cards, viewable outside of the game on Bungie's website or the Destiny app.