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Support all current and past editions of Dungeons & Dragons!

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After only four years since last edition of Dungeons & Dragons (4E) was released, Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro have made the decision to stop supporting it, despite its popularity with numbers older gamers as well as a noteworthy population of new gamers. As a replacement, it has been decided that a new edition of D&D would be designed for the gaming community, based upon a retro-clone model, despite a glut in the game market of heroic-fantasy-D&D-like clones. Furthermore, DDI support features which had been promised for the current retiring edition, such as the Virtual Table Top (VTT), Character Visualizer, and Encounter Builder, have all been postponed indefinitely or cancelled, in a move which was inherently detrimental to brand loyalty.

WotC has made promises that this new ”Next” edition of Dungeons & Dragons will unite “an audience that had been divided by differences in editions and play styles…” by designing “…a version of D&D that all players could experience and enjoy.” (D&D Next: Interview with Mike Mearls at GeekNation, June 2012) While intrinsically this is a worthwhile goal, nevertheless it is hard to deny the probability that if D&D Next fails to unite the fan base, it is destined to fracture the Dungeons & Dragons Community once again, as the release of 4E did by disenfranchising the OGL/3.5 fans.

Poll data released by Wizards of the Coast and EN World have reported that approval ratings by the playtesters of the new edition’s rules are only registering at less than two-thirds (~60%). And this says nothing of those gamers in the D&D Community which show so little interest in D&D Next that they have not even bothered to sign up for the playtest and contribute to the development of the new edition. Further, recent threads on the D&D Community Forums Anyone Else Having Trouble Keeping Players Interested? and EN World Forums Losing Interest & Are You Still Playtesting? suggest that enthusiasm for the proposed Next edition is already waning, and more than a year before its release date.

It appears that retiring yet another “current” edition of D&D in order to make way for a new edition is not the way to unite the Gaming Community behind the Dungeons & Dragons brand and product line. So rather than a new edition, let’s urge Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro to bring back corporate support for ALL EDITIONS of Dungeons & Dragons – D&D, AD&D, 2nd Edition, OGL/3.5, and 4E - and give all D&D fans access to the massive product library from the past, and going forward into the future!

Hasbro/WotC - give D&D fans everything they want from current and past editions, and profit from a new publishing model that doesn’t require a new edition!

Product Suggestions for a Content-Provider Publishing Model:

• Re-publish core rulebook and sourcebooks for all previous editions of D&D.
• Re-publish all old D&D supplemental content such as modules and settings for all editions.
• Re-publish old issues of Dragon and Dungeon Magazine in POD or eBook formats.
• Use POD and eBook formats such as EPUB, PDF, and Kindle to release the vast library of D&D content without stock overhead.
• Convert modules and campaign settings originally published under one edition, and publish them under all other editions.
• Combine all material from the current 4E edition, including errata and Essentials materials, to create more streamlined version of this edition to be re-published.
• Sponsor DDI support for all four editions, including Character Builders, Monster & Encounter Designers, and Rules Compendiums. Allow fans to buy subscriptions to each support program separately, or to subscribe to bundles, or the entirety of DDI support, as desired.
• Implement the use of new technology in all editions of D&D, either through internal development or outsourcing. Publish Player and Dungeon Master apps for palm devices, tablets, and smart phones.
• Release new content for all editions in Dragon and Dungeon Webzine articles, allocating percentage of pages in proportion to DDI subscriptions for each edition.
• License all editions under a new agreement to encourage 3rd Party Publishers to support all editions of the game.
• Design and release of new supplemental content (modules, sourcebooks, campaign settings, etc.) can be published for all editions – one product sells to four consumer groups!



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