Director James Ohlen told PC Gamer that while the negotiations were underway between BioWare and Lucas Arts over the Star Wars license, the development team was batting around a few other MMO concepts.
"We had backup plans," said Ohlen. "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."
Ohlen added that every setting had different strengths. Star Wars won out because of, again, the KOTOR connection.
"We had an in-built fanbase with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic," Ohlen said. "In fact, 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 massively multiplayer game?'"
Ohlen doesn't mention whether they considering making an MMO based on an all-new license. However, given the price of developing an MMO - Old Republic is said to be the most expensive ever made - I can see why developers would rather base their game around an existing brand.