For many gamers, especially those growing up on consoles, GoldenEye offered the first opportunity to play a competitive FPS. However, that feature might not have even made it into the game, as it was a mode that was added just months before the game shipped.
Speaking at GDC Europe, game director Marin Hollis revealed that the game, which shipped in August 1997, didn't have multiplayer implemented until "some time like March or April."
According to a Gamespot report, multiplayer was added by a "clandestine" team without the knowledge of Rare or Nintendo management. Programmer Steve Ellis snuck in the feature "within a single month," thanks to the "lax managerial atmosphere" within the studio.
Because multiplayer was added so late in the game's development, it was responsible for many of the game's quirks--aspects of the game that ultimately added to the game's character. For example, Oddjob's short stature made him one of the most hated characters in multiplayer. "We didn't have time to balance all the characters. Really we just threw them in," Hollis recounts. "But these little quirks and bits of sketchiness really bring personality to the game."