Well Wizards of the Coast is making a new edition of Dungeons and Dragons. This initially seemed rushed to me, but is not really surprising when you look at what has happened since the release of DnD 4E. When 4E was released the fan-base was divided, with some loving the new edition and others hating it. Wizard’s situation was further complicated by the fact that they had released a version of the DnD 3.5 system under the Open Gaming Licence (OGL). This allowed other companies to develop games based on these rules. One of the most popular OGL alternatives is Pathfinder, which not only redeveloped the system, but added to it. Currently, the game allows much greater customization than DnD 3.5 ever did. To many Pathfinder is what DnD 4E should have been. Faced with a large portion of their fan-base flocking to alternative companies, is it really any surprise that Wizards would attempt to develop a new edition? The question is: can Wizards bring back fans of 3.5 and keep those that like 4E? Seems like a lofty goal, however their announcement does claim they want to create a system that allows more customization. So who knows?
Official Announcement From Wizards of the Coast:
“As you may have read in the New York Times, it’s an exciting time for Dungeons & Dragons. We are happy to announce today that we are developing the next iteration of D&D, and will be looking to the legions of D&D fans to help shape the future of the game along with us.
Our mission is to ensure that D&D enters its next 40 years as a vibrant, growing, and exciting game. By listening to the needs of the D&D community, we can meet this goal. As part of our increased efforts to engage with the player-base, we launched a series of weekly articles in early 2011, including Rule of Three and Legends & Lore, to give you a voice in our work. We’ve listened to both praise and criticism from all D&D fans, regardless of their edition of choice, and we’ll continue to do so.
That is why we are excited to share with you that starting in Spring 2012, we will be taking this process one step further and conducting ongoing open playtests with the gaming community to gather feedback on the new iteration of the game as we develop it. With your feedback and involvement, we can make D&D better than ever. We seek to build a foundation for the long-term health and growth of D&D, one rooted in the vital traits that make D&D unique and special. We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play.”
more at Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page – Article (Charting the Course for D&D).