Éditions Sans-Détour has had the license for French language Call of Cthulhu for many years. Last year they ran a crowdfunding campaign for Les Masques de Nyarlahotep et Le Jour de la Béte. Back in 2015 they even crowdfunded the French edition of Call of Cthulhu 7th edition.
Call of Cthulhu fans have given Éditions Sans-Détour money for products they may now not get.
Why? Chaosium, the creators of Call of Cthulhu and the company who runs the franchise, is refusing to renew Éditions Sans-Détour license and has withdrawn all permission to use trademarks, logo and related intellectual property?
Éditions Sans-Détour hasn’t paid the bils since 2016.
Éditions Sans-Détour (ESD) has long been a valued Chaosium licensee, releasing a range of beautifully produced Call of Cthulhu materials in French.
Chaosium has patiently tried to work with ESD during this time; however, to date we have not even received any sales data for the past two years, let alone any payments on outstanding royalties.
Last month Chaosium made it clear to ESD that the license had expired and would not be renewed. ESD were advised they are in cardinal breach of its previous license – nb this would have been grounds for immediate termination of the license, if it had not already expired.
The American publisher is clearly aware that this will put some fans in a hard place. They seem keen to do what they can to help, but my sense is that help will be limited. They’ve told fans;
Chaosium does not want ESD’s failures to perform its contractual duties to result in you the fans not getting product you already paid for on ESD’s crowdfunding campaigns.
Where does that leave French fans of Call of Cthulhu? It seems unlikely ESD and Chaosium can work with each other again.
Michael O’Brien, Head of Licensing and Vice President at Chaosium Inc. has already announced that the publisher has a licensee for Call of Cthulhu in French. More details and a formal announcement is expected later.
You can read Chaosium’s full statement on their site.
There’s nothing on ESD’s website about the news yet. However, Chaosium’s announcement was made on a Saturday and ESD have been busying cancelling events this weekend due to riots in some parts of France. It’s absolutely right to put the safety of customers ahead of news, even big news like this, and if 100% of ESD’s efforts are currently being spent on making sure fans avoid the riots, then no one will blame them for that.
However, on the company’s Facebook page they were promoting their Call of Cthulhu products just this week and already concerned comments from fans still waiting on the arrival of the books they helped to crowdfund are already appearing.
Creative Commons license: Send Lawyers, Guns and Money by Wee Froggy.