Making The Inventory A Tiny Pocket Dimension (Featuring Horse-Pants)
Gaming -- a place where you go to teabag strangers' corpses -- doesn't abide by many rules of etiquette. But there is one we all obey: Never, ever question where your character is keeping all of their stuff. It's totally normal when Nathan Drake pulls a bazooka out of his pocket, or that quivers in Skyrim can comfortably hold every single arrow that was, is, or will be. And there's a good reason not to question it. You really don't want to know what happens when you're "equipping" a horse.
Let's backtrack. One of the leading pioneers in MMORPGs, Ultima Online, was all about offering freedoms you couldn't get in single-player games, like killing the lead game dev or destroying the ecology of a fantasy planet. But one of the smaller, less appreciated freedoms was the ability to put your stuff wherever the hell you wanted.
The more mainstream inventory systems in games like Diablo or Resident Evil separate everything in neat slots. But Ultima Online had a huge pile of stuff hastily bundled inside a bag, even featuring overlapping items. The trick was that Ultima's inventory wasn't some system menu, but an actual location -- a tiny map with the coordinates of where all your items lived. And seeing as it all had to travel with your character, the most convenient location was ... you. You were your own backpack, so to speak.
The realistic-looking, hidden-location-based inventory was a hit. That is, until the arrival of horse pants. Ultima's devs wanted to put rideable horses in the game, but having digital people realistically interact with digital animals is a pain in the ass to program, so they came up with another neat trick. When a player clicked on their steed, instead of mounting a horse, they would in fact equip pants that looked just like said horse, and gave them appropriate speed bonuses. Meanwhile, the in-game horse would be put away in their inventory, to be released whenever the player decided to dismount. That's how insane video game development is; this was the easy way.
EA Games700,000 for a horse? Maybe instead of dragons, our brave heroes should be fighting inflation.