It looks to be that they'll be creating a series of interconnecting games, books, app's, comics to tell a bigger story than just a single game. So an ongoing series, spread over several mediums. Sort of like 'Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire' was.
That 'universe' thing sounds more like a bunch of game connected together and not a MMO. Maybe they will add a multiplayer aspect to the game (I'm hoping that this will have a minor impact in the game)