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Chaosium» Forums » News

Subject: Moon Design takes over Chaosium (sort of, more or less) rss

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Shannon Appelcline posted the following press release here. (Or you can see it on this official page.) It was also announced at Gen Con:

Chaosium wrote:
GREG STAFFORD ANNOUNCES NEW OWNERSHIP GROUP FOR CHAOSIUM AT GEN CON
2015 Diana Jones Award Winners Moon Design Publications welcomed as new management team

30 July 2015

GEN CON, Indianapolis - Greg Stafford, founder of the iconic game company Chaosium, used the "Future of Chaosium" seminar at Gen Con today to announce that Moon Design Publications has become part of the Chaosium ownership group.

The Michigan-based Moon Design acquired the rights to Stafford's legendary game setting Glorantha and the game systems RuneQuest and HeroQuest in 2013. It is the publisher of the critically acclaimed Guide to Glorantha, multiple nominee in this year's ENnie Awards, and winner of the 2015 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming.

Going forward, with Moon Design now part of the Chaosium ownership, Chaosium becomes the licensed publisher for RuneQuest, HeroQuest and other products related to Gloranthan universe, and will continue to publish the famous Call of Cthulhu line.

"I'm really excited to see Glorantha and RuneQuest return to their proper home in Chaosium," said Greg Stafford, "The band is now back together, and we're ready to rock on".

The four principals of Moon Design are the new management team of Chaosium. The new officers of the company are Rick Meints, President and Secretary; Jeff Richard, Vice President and Creative Director; Michael O'Brien, Vice President - Product Development & Community Outreach; and Neil Robinson, Chief Financial Officer.

"Our first priority is leveraging the experience from Moon Design's previous successful Kickstarters to fulfill everything the backers are waiting on for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition, said Rick Meints, new Chaosium President.

Greg Stafford, who founded Chaosium in 1975 and was its original creative force, becomes Chairman of the company's board of directors. Sandy Petersen, whose own involvement with Chaosium began in 1980, continues as a director of the company board, along with Meints, Richard, O'Brien and Robinson.

Chaosium will also continue to work in partnership with Sandy Petersen's Petersen Games, with upcoming releases including the Cthulhu Wars "Onslaught" expansion, and God's War, an epic boardgame set in Glorantha.

"I for one welcome our new Lunar overlords", said Sandy Petersen at the announcement.

For further information please contact:

Gen Con 2015 Chaosium Booth 501

That would be Moon Design Publications, by the way.

There are also some live tweets from the "Future of Chaosium" seminar here. It appears there will be a new version (edition? reissue?) of RuneQuest coming soon and that Basic RolePlaying is no longer considered a viable independent system.

Honestly, I don't really know enough about the various game lines to say much sensible...I recommend checking out the sources for yourself for more info.

Edit: Added link to Moon Design.
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Loz mentions that there will be a Glorantha specific version of RQ6 (i.e. the previously mentioned AiG that has a pre-launch version available at Gencon). BRP delivers about 10% of revenue but it wasn't referred to as something that is likely to be dropped. The monographs are going to be dropped once the stock runs out so buy them now if you want them.
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Here's a message posted by Loz on G+ (and probably elsewhere):

Quote:
The recent news that Moon Design Publications’ management team (Rick Meints, Jeff Richard, Neil Robinson and Michael O’Brien) would be taking over at the helm of Chaosium has naturally created a lot of interest and speculation. It has clear implications for the Design Mechanism, and Pete and I would like to issue a statement making clear where we stand as a company and where RuneQuest stands as a game system. We cannot and will not speculate or discuss Chaosium’s existing game systems such as Call of Cthulhu, Basic Roleplaying or Magic World.

We (Design Mechanism) license the RuneQuest trademark from Moon Design Publications. We entered into a licensing agreement that comes up for renewal around this time next year and part of the contract and business plan I proposed when first negotiating the license was to insist in a full review and assessment of our progress with RuneQuest as a property. Our license is not perpetual, and that review process had already begun before the recent announcement.
With Moon Design now becoming part of Chaosium, the RuneQuest trademark transfers to Chaosium – its place of birth. Until the license we have expires next year, RuneQuest will continue to be published by the Design Mechanism and the core rules will remain in print. From July 2016, the following will take place:

1. RuneQuest reverts to Chaosium.
2. Pete and myself will become the new lead writers for RuneQuest as a Chaosium brand line with specific responsibilities for developing the system and its supplements.
3. The Design Mechanism as a company will continue. Chaosium and Design Mechanism have signed a new contract whereby we can continue to write, produce and distribute our own RuneQuest supplements, and can continue to support the lines we have already started to develop.
4. The RuneQuest 6 mechanics remain the core of the system, but as the trademark is now held by Chaosium, we have been contracted to develop a new version of the game based in Glorantha called, simply, ‘RuneQuest’. This game will appear in July 2016 (or possibly earlier). This new version will roll together all the work we have done on ‘Adventures in Glorantha’ into a standalone RuneQuest game.
5. At that point, RuneQuest 6 will go out of print as its own title. Design Mechanism will find ways of ensuring full compatibility across our supplements, the new version and RQ6.
6. Effectively immediately, Chaosium will sell Design Mechanism’s existing (and future) books through its various channels. Indeed, this increases Design Mechanism’s exposure, extends its reach and removes a huge administrative burden from the shoulders of a two-man team.

Pete and I are delighted to be working with Chaosium. We are pleased to be able to return RuneQuest to Chaosium stronger than it has been since it left home for Avalon Hill back in the mid 1980s. Even better, it comes back to a revitalised Chaosium that carries a clear mandate of excellence, transparency and commitment to its fans and creative contributors. We are especially happy to have the opportunity to work closely with Rick, Jeff, Neil and Mike and to become part of the Chaosium family. But what makes this even more special is that the Design Mechanism carries on as a company, continues to publish and support RuneQuest, and will always engage with its loyal and faithful fans.

More details will emerge as various pieces come together. We will communicate and discuss them with you just as we always have. Pete and I really are excited and happy with the new direction and we hope you will share our enthusiasm and optimism for the future!

Long Live Design Mechanism!
Long Live Chaosium!
Long Live RuneQuest!
Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash
July 31st, 2015
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