Lucasfilm and Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) have teamed up for a new trading card game set in the Star Wars universe. Star Wars: Unlimited is due to arrive in 2024, and the companies are determined to take a bite out of the TCG market pie, as they put it.
FFG Wants a Bite out of the TCG Pie with Star Wars: Unlimited
Often feeling like a crowded space already dominated by Wizards of the Coast, the market for trading card games is worth billions with the exact value still a moving target and ranging from $2 billion to $6 billion.
FFG, which has many successful projects that include Living Card Games (LCGs), the company’s verbiage for trading card games, is confident that it can bring its experience to the TCG arena where Magic: The Gathering and Flesh and Blood seem to be dominating, with soon-to-join Disney Lorcana around the corner.
FFG intends to release three sets for the game every year and will also invest in an organized play system that will be held at FFG’s own events and additional gatherings hosted specifically for the purpose.
Supporting such a structure would require significant financial investment and a plan to sustain the game in the long term. Disney Lorcana is making a very strong play to contest the TCG space and go up against Magic: The Gathering, styling itself as an MTG killer from the get-go.
The new Star Wars: Unlimited TCG will also feature a new art set in the franchise, which will help set it apart rapidly from other games based on the same IP but owned by rivals. FFG visual creative director Brian Schomburg has welcomed the opportunity to introduce a new touch of design and art for the game. Schomburg shared:
“Having the opportunity to commission new art for every card in this game ensures there will be an exciting and cohesive style throughout. We really thought about what the cards would look like on the table next to one another.”FFG visual creative director Brian Schomburg
FFG has had some trucks with TCGs in the past, having tried to run Keyforge and Star Wars: Destiny as successful projects. Both games petered out, and FFG has been focusing on LCGs with notable success, including the realization of projects such as Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and Arkham Horror: The Card Game.
Marvel Champions: The Card Game has also been another feather in FFG’s cap. Star Wars: Unlimited co-designer Jim Cartwright spoke with Polygon, a gaming media, and touched on the design and the thought that has gone into designing the new TCG.
Cartwright has acknowledged that the company’s past record has been somewhat unsuccessful when measuring up to the TCG vertical. Yet, FFG and Cartwright seem to know what the problem is with the company previously plagued by delays.
Clear Timelines and Commitments Need to Be Set for TCGs to Succeed
Now, though, FFG is approaching the new project with a clear idea about the level of commitment that needs to be invested in order for Star Wars: Unlimited to succeed. There are a few caveats, though. Unlike Disney Lorcana which has gone out for blood against Magic: The Gathering, Cartwright is treading more cautiously.
“We’re not trying to get into anything crazy or fancy,” he told Polygon. The main thing is to get a card game that is non-gimmicky and lets you combine all your sets and cards to get the maximum level of fun.
“It means that you’re not waiting for me to think about all of the different things I have to do, play out my whole turn, maybe ruin the experience for you in a short burst of time,” he shared, outlining a perhaps slightly more casual approach to the hobby. Then again more accessible doesn’t mean simple.
It could remove part of the pressure from players, though, making the game more approachable by Cartwright’s words. The game has been in development for the past three years and it will definitely be going up against some heavyweights in the hobby.