RPG Publisher Says Chinese Government Burned Every Copy Of Their Latest Book

RPG Publisher Says Chinese Government Burned Every Copy Of Their Latest Book

Sons of the Singularity, a small publisher of RPGs, ran a Kickstarter last year for a Call of Cthulu sourcebook, successfully raising over $28,097. Called The Sassoon Files, it was finally printed last week, only for the publisher to claim that the Chinese government then stepped in and burned every copy.

Via Boing-Boing, here’s Sons of the Singularity’s Jesse Covner explaining what happened:

If you can’t watch the video, on the book’s Kickstarter page there’s a short statement that reads:

We have suffered an unfortunate and unexpected setback with the off-set print run. On March 20th, the Chinese government ordered the destruction of our books.

Covner says that, according to the manufacturers, a Chinese government official inspected the supernatural-themed RPG books, determined they violated Chinese law—despite being bound for a foreign market—and demanded that every copy be destroyed within 24 hours.

Popular Horror Game Removed From Steam After Chinese Players Say It Insults China

Less than a week ago, the developers of P.T.-inspired horror game Devotion were riding high. Their game’s February 19 release was met with thousands of positive Steam reviews and hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch. However, after a weekend of controversy, Devotion has met an even more untimely end than the game that inspired it.

Read more

The Kickstarter will still be going ahead though; the Chinese company was able to refund the deposit, and Sons of the Singularity will be looking elsewhere to get the books printed.


    • Tough one. On the one hand, the CCP was correct – it was printed in China, and against various policies. On the other hand, its not destined for the Chinese market, so a decision like this only undermines China’s international status as the worlds bulk manufacturer.

      For us on the outside, its a baffling decision, but from the inside theres a lot of sense. I just hope its a one off, or plenty of things are going to start getting destroyed before export, and we need to start looking around for a new global manufacturer.

      I’m sure there are numerous countries in Africa that would take the GDP.

  • According to one of the book’s writers in a subreddit:

    “Some have asked what content the Chinese official found sensitive. The Sassoon Files contains photographic images of Zhou Enlai, Chiang Kai-shek, Empress Dowager Cixi, Big Eared Du, and other historical figures. It contains images of Mythos monsters, including an incarnation of a god which appears to have nipples. It contains images of the flag of the Republic of China; that flag is shown on TV in historical TV show, but it’s also the flag of the Republic of China on Taiwan. It has a fake historical poster of PLA soldiers fighting the good fight against Cthulhu. In it’s textual content, it includes story-elements of time travel, reincarnation, interactions with Christian cultists (or Christians who think they are Christian but are worshiping something else), possession, alien serial murderers, and world-ending plagues (that originate in China).”

    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/b5k0up/chinese_govt_burns_call_of_cthulhu_supplement_the/ejea7j5/

    • Images of Chiang Kai-Shek alone would have been enough to get the book destroyed. The communists don’t like to talk about the guy they defeated.

    • That one paragraph makes it pretty clear why.

      There’s laws around how you can depict chinese historical figures.

      Taiwan flag is a no no.

      Time travel is banned for tv shows, probably other forms of media too.

      There’s laws around the act of reincarnation, and it’s a very touchy subject because of Tibet, Buddhism and Dalai Lama.

      The Christian cultists are probably seen along the same lines as Falon Gong/Dafa which is illegal, and worshipping any religion that is not officially recognised by the state is also illegal. The Pope/Vatican City does not recognise the bishops of the “official” Catholic Church in China because the bishops are appointed by the CCP. At the same time, the “official” Catholic Churn in China does not recognise the Pope.

      “possession” I assume relates to drugs. Not allowed.

      World ending plagues likely fall under the vague laws against depicting China in a bad way

Log in to comment on this story!