Origin characters go in the bin with multiplayer and super-ultra-hard difficulty modes as stuff I'll never touch, and in my ideal world, Larian would've invested their time/resources elsewhere. But as long as they put out $60 worth of fun content for my custom, solo, EZ mode self, I don't care much about the rest of it. If they're passionate about these things - and if they're profitable - more power to 'em.
I'm not into origin characters either and likely won't play one . . . but a lot of people do seem to like them and I think its good for people who aren't into the effort it takes to create a character. And this will increase sales . . . which gives Lairan more money to make the game better! I actually don't think the work to make the companions also origin characters is all that much effort, not in the grand scheme of things. So I think its a win for the game overall.
Multiplayer is rare in these types of RPGs and again appeals to lots of people further expanding the player base. Its also a requirement for the D&D sandbox they plan to eventually add to the game.
As for difficulty. In the past Larian has basically had Story, Regular, and Hard modes . . . again different options is nice. I often like to up the difficulty when I do a second playthrough. One of the things I loved about the DoS games is that Hard wasn't just more hit points or damage but that encounters were designed differently, with new or additional monsters. It was a whole new play experience and brought surprise to the game even after you had played it once. I assume Larian will do the same thing again.
I give Larian a lot of credit for going outside the box and offering all these options!