Star Wars: The Old Republic could have been a Game of Thrones MMO, a Bioware-developed Lord of the Rings MMO, a Dark Tower MMO or a Song of Ice and Fire MMO …. those were among many of the “back-up plans” that BioWare had in mind in case the Star Wars idea didn’t pan out.
Of coursed, that was back when the design team for the game was composed of THREE people. It’s come quite a long ways of course, to the Star Wars: The Old Republic we see now. The multi-million dollar videogame that thousands of players are currently adventuring through.
To quote from PC Gamer:
“We had backup plans,” said game director James Ohlen to PC Gamer. “In all the design team was like three of us at that point, in total. So we were looking at doing a Lord of the Rings MMO, a Silmarillion MMO, a kind of a Gunslinger-esque Dark Tower MMO, a Game of Thrones MMO.”
“Each setting has different strengths, ” Ohlen added, describing the 10 page documents that the team drew up at an early design stage. “If we were going to do a Game of Thrones MMO, what kind of rules and what kind of gameplay elements would really bring that world to life? Each one had that, but we always focused on the story at the fore.” In those early stages, a compelling narrative was more important than the setting. “When we were first were deciding on what kind of game we were going to build, I really wanted to do a story-based massively multiplayer game because hey, it hadn’t been done before. I thought: hey, good way to innovate – that’s what Bioware stands for and that’s what we’re good at.”
Here’s a look at Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Naturally the perfect fit was the Star Wars universe, which is notorious for offering a seemingly un-ending stream of new stories built around the universe, in every media form possible.
Star Wars was eventually decided on for multiple reasons, including the fact that it had a natural dual-faction set-up in the Sith and Jedi, the fact that BioWare already had many Star Wars fans from their work on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and the fact that the universe was so rich and provided endless opportunities to craft their own stories. It also gave players something to fight for, depending on the side they chose.
It’ll be interesting to see if anything comes of the other BioWare MMO ideas. Some of it will all probably depend on the ultimate success of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Also the other properties may not be as much of surefire bets as Star Wars.
Thanks to PC Gamer