So if you've been following along in the RPG pundit-sphere, you know that there's been some thought that RPGs will go the way of wargames and model railroading. That is, as the niche shrinks, more and more products will become very high-quality collector's treasures, and will be priced accordingly.
There's a push-me-pull-me effect right now. In addition to WotC's very cheap new Red Box, there are lots of projects with a strong do-it-yourself vibe, like Fight On! and now Paizo's talking about an intro set to their Pathfinder game.
Ptolus mega-book, would be what premium RPG products of the future would look like.
That was, until Raggi linked to this today. Ye gods...
I'm a little torn when I see something like that. On the one hand, yeah, very cool. I'd love to be involved in a product that looked like that. On the other, I have to wonder at the utility of most of it. CoC has long been a game associated with props: photographs, coffee-stained letters, edlritch inscriptions and rubbings, and other such. Creating the proper mood and atmosphere is vital to the game, and the props help.
That said, some of this looks cool, but extraneous. The box, for instance, is awesome, but would it really help to set the proper mood? Ditto for the flag. I suppose we could mount it on the wall, crank the AC down to 30, bundle up in our sweaters and turtlenecks, and try to recreate the feeling of being at the bottom of the world, but...
Still, if you shoot for the moon and miss, you're likely to land among the stars. You certainly can't fault the French here for a lack of audacity. If nothing else, they've created a piece of gaming history.