The collectible card game (TCG) scene is about to have a familiar face, or maybe a lot of familiar faces given the popularity of Disney movies.
At D23, board game company Ravensburger and Disney officially unveiled Lorcana, a new Disney trading card game featuring many of the company’s iconic characters ranging from Mickey Mouse to Elsa from Frozen.
For years, the collectible card game scene has been dominated by Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon. But will the combination of Disney characters with Ravensburger’s game design expertise be enough to break into such a competitive field?
IGN spoke with Lorcana co-designer and brand manager Ryan Miller, a veteran card game designer, about the birth of Lorcana and what to expect from a competitive Disney TCG.
Disney Cards Lorcana D23
“Our work on the Villainous line of games has helped us forge a great relationship with Disney, as well as Disney fans,” Miller said of the company’s other collaboration with Disney. “The love and attention to detail we put into these games has shown the fandom that we truly understand and revere these characters.”
Ravensburger was able to leverage its existing relationship with Disney, having already designed a series of popular board games focusing on villains from across the Disney universe. But a TCG is a whole different story.
“We designed the game to be easy to learn so that people who have never played a TCG can pick it up, but also have enough strategic depth to appeal to the seasoned TCG player,” explains Miller. “This approach has informed our design and development process, as all playtesting and card stress testing has been done by veteran TCG players to ensure there are plenty of combos, synergies and decks to find in each set.”
The benefit of having the Disney library to work with, Miller says, is that players can “intuitively put together a deck of their favorite characters while having a fun and engaging experience.”
Lorcana’s D23 reveal has already been a huge success, with cards from the event already selling on the second-hand market at huge markups. The seven promotional cards that were sold at D23 will be available in the Starter Pack once Lorcana is released in late 2023, but D23 attendees were able to acquire foil variants of these cards.
This has led to concerns that Lorcana will become a collectible game, but Miller says there won’t be any cards that will become event- and cons-exclusive.
“I don’t like to say ‘never’ when I’m working on a trading card game, but here I go: we’ll never do a promo card or a collectible that you can’t also get out of the regular product,” said said Miller. IGN.
“The treatment of the promotional cards may be unique, such as the treatment of the foil or, in the case of D23 Expo, the D23 Expo marks, across the collectible set, but the characters and game mechanics of these cards will be in the regular set.”
Miller says Lorcana’s goal is for the game to be an “opt-in experience, not a forced experience”, so that players have access to all the mechanics available in the game through the standard product without having to go to inconveniences or events.
For now, Lorcana is focused on characters from Disney animated films, and this library contains many popular characters and “deep cuts” that Ravensburger can draw upon. So don’t expect Marvel or Star Wars characters just yet.
Matt TM Kim is IGN’s Managing Editor. You can join it @lawoftd.