BioWare considered MMOs of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones

Star Wars: The Old Republic hit this week, but for a time BioWare considered other franchises in case the Star Wars license didn't work out.

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Are you enjoying your time in Star Wars: The Old Republic, or waiting in line as the case may be? Apparently you could have been waiting in line to enter Gondor or Westeros, among a handful of other worlds BioWare considered MMO-ifying.

"We had backup plans," game director James Ohlen told 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." Negotiations with LucasArts were long, and the team spent off-time looking into the other series for inspiration.

Star Wars won out for BioWare, and Lucasarts came back with an agreeable deal. The appeal of the franchise for BioWare was its reams of existing canon, the ability to make various kinds of heroes, and the in-born duality of the world's morality. Of course, the massive fan-base didn't hurt. "When you ask our fans 'what kind of MMO would you like us to build' they almost always say 'how about Knights of the Old Republic masssively multiplayer game?'"

And then they made it. Star Wars: The Old Republic is available now. Meanwhile, an RPG modeled after A Game of Thrones is in the works from Cyanide.

Editor-In-Chief
From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 21, 2011 3:45 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, BioWare considered MMOs of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones.

    Star Wars: The Old Republic hit this week, but for a time BioWare considered other franchises in case the Star Wars license didn't work out.

    • reply
      December 21, 2011 3:48 PM

      I'm glad we got lightsabers and blasters instead of swords and bows

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        December 21, 2011 4:08 PM

        Same. LOTR and GOT are great properties, but we've got more than enough traditional fantasy-themed MMOs.

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        December 21, 2011 4:24 PM

        I'd have preferred a Mass Effect MMO, honestly.

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          December 21, 2011 4:41 PM

          not gonna have two space based ones from same people

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            December 21, 2011 4:48 PM

            Instead of, not in addition to

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          December 21, 2011 4:49 PM

          oh instead of another star wars thing, yea i agree star wars just needs to die

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          December 21, 2011 4:50 PM

          ditto

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          December 21, 2011 5:11 PM

          I don't want one for now. Maybe in a decade after a few big leaps in hardware.

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        December 21, 2011 4:48 PM

        Yeah, GOT could have been fun, but I'm not sure the lore of the series lends itself to many classes. Very few people know magic even exists, and fewer still can use it. So we'd have...a knight and an archer? Maybe some sort of alchemist? No thanks. :/

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          December 22, 2011 6:22 AM

          Just for fun...

          Horselord (almost a cross between archer/thief archetypes)
          - light & leather armor
          - bow & sword proficiency
          - riding proficiency
          - can't swim
          - fast

          Pyromancer
          - alchemist
          - cloth armor
          - napalm / bombs
          - low constitution

          Servant of R'hllor (mage)
          - fire magic
          - limited healing magic
          - cloth armor
          - bonus vs undead
          - low charisma

          Knight
          - heavy armor
          - sword & lance proficiency
          - riding proficiency
          - higher repair costs to maintain equipment
          - slow on foot

          Undying (necromancer)
          - self-healing ability
          - low constitution & charisma
          - ??? the Undying dudes weren't fleshed out very well but there's potential

          Shapeshifter / Skinwalker
          - multiple animal forms (bear, wolf, elk, crow)
          - high constitution
          - leather armor
          - jack of all most trades (like a druid in wow)

          Nights Watchman
          - resilience vs cold
          - bonus vs undead
          - weapon proficiency (able to use any physical damage weapon in game)
          - bonus to monster drops (scavenge)
          - low charisma
          - medium armor (chain)

          Lots of potential for classes if you just dig, generalize, and maybe stretch a little.

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        December 21, 2011 5:04 PM

        Except it feels really strange to actually hit enemies with a lightsaber and have them shrug it off, instead of being cleaved in two.

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          December 21, 2011 5:09 PM

          vader got hit in the shoulder, his armor saved his arm.

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          December 22, 2011 4:53 AM

          Apparently lore wise that armor was made much stronger than in the days of Vader. Many armors made in this time were designed to deflect lightsabers. I stole that line from some Bioware guy, forgot where though.

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            December 22, 2011 5:24 AM

            Make sense, the argument could be made that the armor was more expensive to deflect a light saber but in a time of war justified. Fast forward to the time of the movies, why make that armor when predominantly the users of light sabers are protectors. Conversely during the rule of the Empire only two guys have a saber.

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            December 22, 2011 7:00 AM

            Yup mandalore was mined a ton back in the Old Republic days, so tons of people had armor to protect from saber strikes, constant war and strip mining made it so fucking rare that most people couldn't get ahold of it during the time of the movies. Boba Fett had a badass set though!

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        December 22, 2011 7:40 AM

        And twileks instead pedophila and incest

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      December 21, 2011 5:38 PM

      I can only imagine the dialogue options in a Game of Thrones MMO:

      Option 1: Insult NPC
      Option 2: Kill NPC
      Option 3: Kill NPC and rape his dog.

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        December 22, 2011 5:15 AM

        Option 4: Kill NPC and mount head on spike

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      December 22, 2011 5:26 AM

      It's interesting to think that they considered a LOTR game. What in the world was the logic behind that option? LOTRO has been fairing very well compared to the shithole that was SWG since it went F2P. I guess dismantling it would have been pretty easy, plus I'm sure there was kickback from Warner Bros and the gang on licensing.

    • Ziz
      reply
      December 22, 2011 5:48 AM

      Uh anyone else not able to login? It tells me i've got 28-29 days of playtime left. But i haven't put in a game time card or payed for a subscription i guess it's not letting me play.

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        December 22, 2011 6:31 AM

        You probably have to supply a credit card or game card before it will let you use your complimentary 30 days.

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          December 22, 2011 6:39 AM

          It's this

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          December 22, 2011 8:13 AM

          and good luck providing that information as the website is being destroyed. I understand why they require it now because many probably wouldn't bother when their account expired. But it is BS that my month that was included with the game started ticking away and I played for a couple days, and now I can't access it. what if I only want to play for a month. and even if I do want to subscribe I can't now because the site is overloaded.

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      December 22, 2011 6:24 AM

      mechwarrior mmo!

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      December 22, 2011 6:29 AM

      Game of Thrones MMO could be good if they focus on the story as much as they do SW:TOR.

      Everyone could have a unique adventure, and by level 50 everyone is dead

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        December 22, 2011 6:41 AM

        A Game of Thrones RPG wouldn't seem right without permadeath.

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      December 22, 2011 7:19 AM

      too bad Funcom had scooped up the rights to a Conan mmo

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        December 22, 2011 7:56 AM

        and made it into a clusterfuck of horrible design.

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      December 22, 2011 8:13 AM

      Gunslinger/DarkTower MMO is a very intriguing possibility... o_o

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        December 22, 2011 8:17 AM

        Know The Face Of Your Father : +1 to shooting faces off