I guess as a D&D blog I'm required to talk about the news that wizards is planning 5th edition. If you havent heard WoTC is planning to crowd source for ideas on how to proceed with a new edition of D&D. Its only been 5 years since 4th edition launched and its had mixed response from critics. Many myself included feel that 4th edition is too combat oriented. You hear "it feels like a video game" a lot when people first play the game. I agree with these people however I also feel that despite this focus on combat oriented gaming a good GM can work with the rules to create a good story.
One thing I feel is that the Pathfinder RPG has been taking a bite out of wizards RPG pie. Pathfinder if you've not heard of it is a spin-off RPG that Monte Cook and some other big name D&D designers left wizards to produce under the pizzo games label. Pathfinder is like a souped up D&D 3.5 with many of its flaws fixed and less attention on power creep to sell product and more attention on whats good for the game overall. Therein lies the problem with 4th edition.
Wizards of the coast got its success with magic the gathering, its a company whos business model relies on pumping out new product every 6 to 8 months and keeping their consumer base interested with new and even more awesome stuff all the time. D&D was purchased when TSR the former owner was bought out by the company. WoTC in turn is owned by Hasbro. Ever since WoTC bought the D&D brand I've gotten the feeling that they have tried to turn it into another Magic: the gathering type business where they pump out new and better product every few months regardless to the consequences for the power level and balance of the game.
If WoTC wants to get it right with 5th edition they need to take a serious look at their business model. As A player of 15+ years I look for quality in RPG products not quantity. I want the most bang for my gaming dollar. Often Wizards has been producing smaller and smaller books with less and less actual useful content for higher and higher prices. I quit playing Magic about five years ago cause I couldn't afford to keep up at the rate they produced product and stay competitive.
Yes you can make a quick buck with offerings like last months book of vile darkness which was so thin Ive seen pamphlets with more pages yet still cost as much as a book with 3 times its girth. but if you really want to rehabilitate the brand you need to step back and refocus on the core audience that you have seen drift off with the 4th edition crowd. Long time gamers like me that have been buying books since the 90's and before (I know some of you guys have been buying since the 70's... not my point) We look for a quality product. If its not there release after hurried release we naturally are going to drift off.
I sincerely hope that wizards gets it right with 5th edition because If its another failed get rich quick scheme I will probably leave the brand that got me into roleplaying in the first place for greener pastures.