Lorcana Interview: How the New Disney TCG Prioritizes Players Over Collectors
The trading card game (TCG) scene is about to get a familiar face, or maybe a lot of familiar faces given how popular Disney’s movies are.
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 trading card game scene has been dominated by the likes of Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon. But will the combination of Disney characters with the game design know-how of Ravensburger 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, on how Lorcana came to be and what to expect from a competitive Disney TCG.
Disney Lorcana D23 Cards
“Our work on the Villainous line of games has helped us forge a great relationship with Disney, as well as with Disney fans,” Miller says about the company’s other collaboration with Disney. “The love and attention to detail we put into those games has shown the fandom that we truly understand and revere those characters.”
Ravensburger was able to leverage its existing relationship with Disney, having already designed a series of popular board games focused on the villains of the Disney universe. But a TCG is a different story altogether.
“We designed the game to be easy to learn so that folks that haven’t played a TCG before should be able to pick it up, but also have enough strategic depth to attract the seasoned TCG player,” Miller explains. “This approach has informed our design and development process, as all the play testing and stress testing of the cards has been done by veteran TCG players to make sure there are lots of combos, synergies, and decks to find in each set.”
The bonus of having the Disney library to work with, Miller says, is that players can “intuitively put together a deck of their favorite characters and still have a fun, 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 some concern that Lorcana might become a collector’s game, but Miller says there won’t be cards the become exclusive to events and cons.
“I don’t like to say ‘never’ when working on a trading card game, but here I go: We’ll never do a promo card or collection that you can’t also get out of the regular product,” Miller tells IGN.
“The treatment of promo cards may be unique, such as the foil treatment or in the case of D23 Expo, D23 Expo marks, on the collector’s set, but the characters and gameplay mechanics of those cards will be in the regular set.”
Miller says the goal for Lorcana is for the game to be an “opt-in experience, not a coerced one,” so players will have access to all the mechanics available in the game through the standard product without needing to travel to cons or events.
For now, Lorcana is focused on characters from Disney animated movies, and that library contains plenty of popular characters and “deep cuts” for Ravensburger to draw on. So don’t expect Marvel or Star Wars characters quite yet.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN's News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.
This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Matt Kim