Fantasy Flight Games steps into the ring with a new Star Wars-themed trading card game to take on Magic: The Gathering And Disney Lorcana. Called Star Wars: Unlimited, it will launch in 2024 with a full set of over 200 cards and all-new art based on the original trilogy, as well as a full slate of in-game events being held. Speaking to Polygon ahead of Tuesday’s reveal, co-designer Jim Cartwright readily acknowledged that he and his team would be fighting an uphill battle to win the hearts of potential gamers, especially those burned by past experiences with game franchises. of Fantasy Flight cards.
Fantasy Flight’s reputation as a publisher of card games is a little rocky following a string of high-profile cancellations, including Netrunner, Legend of the Five Rings, And Star Wars: Destiny. The most recent failure, however, was the mysterious technical incident that derailed KeyForge, the popular procedurally generated card game that launched in 2018. Initial interest was high, but an unknown issue stopped production in its tracks. The game is now owned and produced by an entirely different company.
Cartwright said that this time around Fantasy Flight is putting all the necessary resources in place to do its best to Star Wars: Unlimited.
“This is a game we’ve put more resources into than any other game in FFG history,” Cartwright said. “In the past for this kind of games […] we had a hard time hitting those kind of regulars [release] cadences. Anyone who has played an FFG game like this knows that. [It’s] something we have struggled with, and we are committed to releasing this game on time. It’s the way the industry works now. If you want to do a TCG, you must be able to commit to these dates.
Cartwright describes Star Wars: Unlimited like a traditional TCG experience – a departure for a company known for its living card game lines, and new experiences such as the Star Wars: Destinythat used custom dice.
“We’re not trying to get into anything crazy or fancy,” Cartwright said. “We wanted to focus all of our design on how we make the best card game, in particular, and the focus on the cards, and the focus on how those cards interact and the kind of limitless possibilities that you get by being able to play with all the Star Wars toys, so it’s a non-fancy TCG.
Cartwright described the game as fast-paced, with lots of back-and-forth between players in any given round.
“It means you don’t expect me to think about all the different things I need to do, play my whole turn, maybe ruin the experience for you in a short period of time,” Cartwright said. “It’s really about this constant commitment of I do one thing, you do one thing, that continues[s] everyone focused simultaneously on what’s going on.
Moreover, and just as Disney Lorcana, Star Wars: Unlimited was designed for multiplayer from the ground up. This means players will likely be able to use the same decks they play competitively for more casual games.
“It was created as a sandbox-style game,” Cartwright said. “We want you to play with your toys. It was actually a very large part of [what] the original land was, and part of [the] reason why Unlimited works so perfectly as a title. It’s the idea of limitless possibilities you can bring to your Star Wars experience.
Of course, the collectible card game landscape has changed dramatically in the three years since Cartwright’s team began work on Star Wars: Unlimited. Even though the pandemic has pushed secondary market TCG card prices through the stratosphere, Magic: The Gathering quickly moved from one best-selling set to the next. While reached Flesh & Blood keep hanging out, Ravensburger’s Disney Lorcana looks set to suck all the oxygen out of the room when it launches in just a few months.
This sets the table for a 2024 version of Star Wars: Unlimited, but it also ups the ante. To hear Cartwright tell it, the leadership of Fantasy Flight is going all out.
“We have some of our most experienced card game designers working on this product,” Cartwright said. “Daniel Schaefer, who ran the [A Game of Thrones: The Card Game] And KeyForge teams. We have Jeremy Zwirn, of course, from Star Wars: Destiny. We have Tyler Parrott, who led the [Legend of the Five Rings]. We took some of our most experienced card game designers, and they’re the ones who put this together, [and] we made sure we were going to be ready to hit the dates we needed consistently by accumulating the resources we needed to do so.
Expect to know more about Star Wars: Unlimited throughout the busy summer tabletop gaming convention circuit, with more specific details later in the year ahead of its 2024 release.