And then there are things like street dialogue. That's the stuff you hear random civilians say in Grand Theft Auto moments before you run them over. "If they're too interesting, you get annoyed," says Jeffrey Yohalem. "You laugh the first time, but you start to hate it quickly. The lines have to be forgettable, but also real. It's exhausting. I had two characters do a Waiting For Godot conversation about how nothing ever changes, because you just run out of stuff to talk about."
The graphics department can relate, as they constantly run out of stuff for people to wear.
The point is that if you've ever rolled your eyes at a piece of video game dialogue, or muted the TV after hearing the same generic side character's line for the 500th time ("I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow in the knee"), you might be tempted to call the game's writing "lazy." But you have to stop and appreciate the sheer scale of the task here.
Yohalem estimated that a game's story script is about four times the length of a movie screenplay, and that's the easy part. On top of that and the piles of inane dialogue above, lots of games now include huge databases of supplementary info, so hardcore fans can delve into lore that the average player will ignore completely. "The menus and databases are more than a thousand pages. It takes the same amount of time as the script." Flip through a book you plucked off a corpse in Skyrim? Skimmed a memo in Deus Ex that someone conveniently left their password in? Someone had to write that shit.
You can thank them for creating both Dragonborn and Dragonporn.