Disney publisher Lorcan Ravensburger has been hit with a lawsuit, as trading card company Upper Deck claims Ravensburger and co-creator Ryan Miller stole the game design from their own in-development TCG, Rush of Ikorr.
The lawsuit alleges that Miller led development on Rush of Ikorr in 2019 before leaving to work at Disney’s Lorcan. Upper Deck claims that Lorcana is “almost identical” to Rush of Ikorr, highlighting similar gameplay elements between the two.
Posting the lawsuit on Twitter and on its website, Upper Deck accuses Ravensburger and Miller of “stealing and copying the original Upper Deck game.” In a statement in the same announcement, chairman Jason Masherah says, “We encourage competition in the industry, but we also strongly believe in playing by the rules to ensure that the gaming community benefits from the diverse creative choices of each manufacturer.”
The lawsuit names Ravensburger and Miller as co-defendants against multiple claims, including breach of contract, unfair business practices and fraud. It claims Miller was hired as lead game designer on the TCG Rush of Ikorr, which puts you in control of various “avatars” of ancient cultures like the Greeks and Mayans.
But in 2020, Miller left Upper Deck to join Ravensburger. Upper Deck claims that Miller “concealed this fact” from him and was in communication with Ravensburger while still having access to classified information about Rush of Ikorr. Fast forward to 2022 and Ravensburger is announcing Disney Lorcan and Miller is being named brand manager and co-creator of the game.
Upper Deck claims that it only discovered the similarities between Rush of Ikorr and Lorcana after revealing gameplay of Lorcana in April. He claims that “Lorcana may just be a product of Miller’s theft of Upper Deck’s intellectual property and other proprietary concepts,” noting that prior to Lorcana, Ravensburger was not as entrenched in the card game space as Upper Deck.
The lawsuit then addresses how Rush of Ikorr and Lorcana are “almost identical.” In particular, Upper Deck claims that both games have a similar resource system, with Lorcana having to place cards face down in his Inkwell, while Rush of Ikorr allows you to draw cards and directly place them face down in your “Influence Zone”.
Victory conditions have also been exposed, with Lorcana having to generate Lore from your characters, while Ikorr sends you his champions on raids to generate gems. In particular, Upper Deck claims that Rush of Ikorr was unique in that players “built themselves up, contrary to the prevailing TCG victory condition, by destroying opponents,” something that can also be said for Lorcan.
Other similarities are also pointed out, such as Ikorr’s champions having keywords like “Support” and “Elusive”. While elusive can be found as described in Lorcana, the support works differently than Ikorr’s, allowing characters to combine their Lore values, rather than Ikorr allowing one champion to lend their power to another. He also mentions the two-color composition of both Lorcan’s and Ikor’s decks, as well as the inclusion of single-use Spell cards.
In its complaints against Miller, Upper Deck alleges that he “concealed conversations with Ravensburger regarding his possible employment or potential employment with Ravensburger” and that Miller’s “willful and fraudulent conduct” caused Rush of Ikorr and Upper Deck to “suffer, and continue to he continues to suffer damage because he has a competing TCG that copies the essence of Rush of Ikorr”.
Meanwhile, he also claims that Ravensburger has harmed Upper Deck by “losing sales, losing goodwill and game popularity” and “preventing the launch of Rush of Ikorr,” saying he faces “irreparable injury” as a result. Although the lawsuit does not include a specific amount, Upper Deck is seeking to prevent Ravensburger from launching Lorcana this August, as well as additional damages.
Neither Ravensburger nor Miller have yet publicly responded to the lawsuit. Ravensburger was contacted for comment but did not respond.
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