Disney’s Lorcana is going to be the next BIG thing. We’re not hedging our bets on this one – we are all-in. There are many reasons why we think that this joint venture between Ravensburger and Disney is a sure-thing. First of all: Disney. When they do things, they go big, and they do it right. They are a company that you want to get behind. By all accounts, they treat their employees, their distributors and most of all, their customers right. They are a company that tries to treat everyone fairly. That seems like a company that we can align with because of our similar values.
Little is known of the actual game itself as of yet, but you can bet that after nearly three years in development by two experienced game designers - Ryan Miller and Steve Warner - that the game play is going to be approachable, fun, engaging, yet still challenging for those looking for a game with depth. Both of these guys worked with WOTC for years and Miller also designed the Digimon game and was a head designer on both Duel Masters and Kaijudo.
In an interview, Miller said that they “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. 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.”
What more could we ask for? A game that is both accessible to all ages, and challenging enough to keep seasoned players looking for combos and winning interactions. Well, I guess we could want great art, fun characters, good card stock, quality control, and a great distribution system. And all of that seems to already be in place. Disney has paired with Ravensburger to produce this game. A company synonymous with quality. They make some of the best board games and have been arguably the best puzzle making company in the world since their inception in 1883. These guys know their way around cardboard. On top of that , they are releasing Lorcana exclusively though Local Game Stores (LGS) instead of Amazon and Walmart and other mass distributors who don’t provide space to play, nor the people to teach the games. An approach that we hope continues.
As far as we can tell, Disney wants to work with LGSs to help push their game. A partnership that we are chomping at the bit to be a part of. We can’t wait for the anticipated organized play program that we know is coming and we hope and expect to be one of the biggest Canadian ambassadors for Lorcana. Miller has already committed in an interview to the upcoming program when he explained that he “is actually working on [an organized play] program right now with an old friend of mine who worked at Wizards on organized play. It’s very near and dear to me. I think it’s absolutely critical to a trading card game’s success because it brings the people together so they can geek out, they can play, they can trade, they find these awesome retail stores and hobby shops. It’s just a wonderful partnership and it’s a wonderful experience for them to come together. I’m absolutely passionate about organized play.” And we at ETB couldn’t agree more.
And with all the Disney history available to them, who isn’t looking forward to having Mickey sling spells at Captain Hook or Elsa lob some snowballs at Maleficent. Those are some of the already spoiled cards, so we know that we can battle with them, but I’m hoping that all the Studio Ghibli characters get brought in as well. Certainly not out of the question since Disney has the rights to the Ghibli archive. I’m looking forward to playing my Kiki or Princess Mononoke or maybe even some of the Grave of the Fireflies characters. The possibilities are endless (not to mention the entire Marvel universe). Who knows what direction the game is going.
What we do know is that Miller isn’t trying to break the mould with this game. It will be made of 60 card decks with regular sized cards (so no need for different sized sleeves) and from what I’ve seen there are a few other similarities to Magic such as the use of keywords, tokens, flavour text and more.
As far as releases, Lorcana is not trying to overwhelm us with product. There is a wallet-manageable four releases a year with the usual booster boxes, pre-con decks, playmats, deckboxes and sleeves. And they have promised out of the gate to not release cards that aren’t accessible to all. In Miller’s own words “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,” This means that although you might not have access to the most expensive treatment of a card, at least you will be able play a version of it with the same playability.
We look forward to the August release in both our stores and will likely have it up for pre-order as soon as we get our allotment and price structure. Until then, we, like you, have to wait and see what’s in store for this highly anticipated new TCG.