These are turbulent times in the world of board gaming, as controversy has reached Disney Lorcana, as Upper Deck have announced they are suing Ravensburger – the studio responsible for Disney Lorcana – and a former Upper Deck game designer for allegedly stealing and copying core mechanics of a card game and then repackaging them.
To add further detail, Upper Deck alleges that its former designer Ryan Miller and additionally alleges that Ravensburger repackaged and marketed that game as Disney Lorcana. One might ask what the connection between Miller and Ravensburger is, so allow us to elaborate on that matter.
Miller worked for Upper Deck on an upcoming trading card game called Rush of Ikorr, but left after a year and a half in development to work for their competitor, Ravensburger. Allegedly, Miller put all his work for Rush of Ikorr into Disney Lorcana. It is important to note that there were no mentions or announcements about Rush of Ikorr prior to the allegations.
Upper Deck President Jason Masherah Issues Statement Following the Allegations
Upper Deck President Jason Masherah issued an official statement on the situation, which we will share in full down below:
“We invested significant time and resources to develop a new and novel trading card game. Our current leadership values the importance of protecting the intellectual property of both Upper Deck and its licensors.
We want gamers and fans to continue enjoying and having access to unique, innovative, and immersive trading card games.
We encourage competition in the industry, but also strongly believe in playing by the rules to ensure the gaming community benefits from the different creative choices by each manufacturer.”Upper Deck
To summarize the situation, Upper Deck is protecting its intellectual property from alleged theft by Ryan Miller. But it is important to note that at this time, we have no knowledge of what was the nature and details of the contract Miller had signed with Upper Deck, or any further details.
It is also important that, before making any judgments, to hear the statements of the opposite side. Ravensburger, however, has not commented on the situation as of writing this article. It will certainly be interesting to hear (or read) what their position is in regard to this matter, but only time will tell.
However, it is apparent that they found striking similarities between Rush of Ikorr’s mechanics and those of Disney Lorcana. Until we have any solid proof of which came first, we are currently stuck in a “chicken or the egg” situation.
Restoration Games has also commented on the allegation and provided some useful insight, noting that there is meat on the bone. There are still no details on the terms of the Miller – Upper Deck contract, no Ravensburger response, and no case-specific details.