A recently released table-top role-playing game has sparked controversy after developer Evil Hat Productions directly denounced author H.P. Lovecraft as “a racist and anti-semite” despite their continued use of his mythos and settings to sell their game.

Fate of Cthulu is the newest release by Evil Hat Productions, having debuted to the public earlier this year on January 13th following a massively successful Kickstarter campaign which received a total of $93,894 in funding, more than $70,000 over their initial goal of $20,000.

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The game uses Evil Hat Productions’s original Fate Core system and is based upon the question “what if Cthulhu operated like Skynet?”. The end result features a setting filled with Lovecraftian horrors and time travelling would-be saviors, all vying to either save, destroy, or rule the world.

On January 17th, the official Evil Hat Productions Twitter account tweeted that the development team “were obligated to reflect on the problematic roots of the source material” and posted an image of a page from the Fate of Cthulu rule book featuring the section title “Content and Consent.” It draws specific attention to Lovecraft’s racist views (which were unfortunately common for his time period, though Lovecraft’s views eventually softened) and reasons that the developers and players “can acknowledge the fear behind his imagination while also re-examining what came out of it” before recommending similar works by “writers of color” as reference for world building as an alternative to Lovecraft’s stories.

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This tweet was met with backlash, primarily from fans who believed that Evil Hat Productions, despite their supposed issues with Lovecraft’s person, were still comfortable using his name and works to appeal to customers:

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Following the backlash, Evil Hat Productions took to Twitter to categorize critics as “predictable edgelords” and telling them that they “literally do not want your money”, as the company is “committed to diverse and inclusive gaming”:

Creative Director and game designer Stephen Blackmoore would join the conversation days later,  justifying the team’s decision in a lengthy Twitter tirade by stating that Lovecraft “was a racist motherf*****, and we couldn’t in good conscience ignore that” before dismissing critics as “probably white people” and telling them to repeatedly “F— OFF”

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What do you make of Evil Hat Productions and Stephen Blackmoore’s stance on H.P. Lovecraft?

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  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is a contributing reporter for Bounding Into Comics. Unabashed anime fan, life-long comic book reader, avid video game player, and in need of a separate house for all of his figures. Trying to sift through the noise to bring the readers the facts.

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