The Walt Disney Corporation is getting into collectible card games with Disney Lorcana. The massive multimedia company is planning on leveraging its access to many beloved series and properties in order to compete in a field that has stood long unopposed by Magic: The Gathering and the Pokemon Trading Card Game. While Disney is no stranger to releasing tabletop adaptations of their work, releasing a CCG in a competitive market is a major endeavor. To this end, the company has partnered up with Ravensburger, a tabletop publisher that has worked with Disney in the past developing their social deduction Disney Villainous game as well as its subsequent spin-offs.
What is Disney Lorcana?
According to a preview by Polygon, Disney Lorcana will be a family-friendly CCG. Players will take on the role of Illumineers, powerful spellcasters that can bring characters from stories to life. Specifically, stories that are stored within The Great Illuminary, a repository of stories, songs, and characters that have long been associated with the House of Mouse. Cards will also feature a "modern storybook" art style, mixing the texture of hand-drawn line work and vibrant color washes of classic Disney animated films with more modern digital techniques.
As for the scale of the project itself, both Disney and Ravensburger have made it clear how much they are investing in Disney Lorcana. Ravensburger North America's CEO, Filip Francke, stated that the game might just be the largest investment the company has ever made into any project or initiative. Considering that Ravensburger is a company that is over a century old, that statement holds a lot of weight.
By that same reckoning, Francke understood that entering into the CCG market would be an uphill battle against longstanding contemporaries. To quote the Polygon feature itself:
“We know that as you enter the TCG market, that you’re inviting the players for a many-year journey,” Francke continued. “We don’t take that lightly. This effort is a multi-year series [of releases]. It’s something that Disney has never really allowed any [collaborator] to do. So the trust that we built with Disney [...] I think allowed us to come to a point where we both strategically, commercially had the trust to say, ‘Yeah, let’s dare to do this together.’”
On the gameplay side of things, Disney Lorcana's game designer Ryan Miller vocalized similar points of comparison. He confessed that Magic is a highly competitive experience whereas Disney Lorcana would be scaled back when it comes to confrontation. Strategy will still be at the core of the experience, but it's not exactly aiming to be the game that completely dethrones Magic The Gathering.
When will Disney Lorcana be available?
Disney Lorcana is expected to release its first sets in the latter half of 2023. A first look at the card game will be happening during Disney's D23 fan expo in Anaheim California, which begins September 9.