|Has Loren Green finally slain the Dragon in Dungeons and Dragons?|
Well, the game isn't, but the brand certainly is. Because of problems with the upper management of D&D, Monte Cook has left D&D Next's development team. Back when Wizards of the Coast started developing D&D Next, they brought in Monte Cook to help with development. I thought it was to smooth over relationships with the customers who weren't ready to give up D&D 3.x in the wake of the D&D that was like ST:Enterprise -- D&D the Fourth.
The news was released last monday and to say I'm not surprised. And Monte had this to say:
"Last week I decided that I would leave my contract position with Wizards of the Coast. I am no longer working on Dungeons & Dragons, although I may provide occasional consultation in the future. My decision is one based on differences of opinion with the company. However, I want to take this time to stress that my differences were not with my fellow designers, Rob Schwalb and Bruce Cordell. I enjoyed every moment of working with them over the past year. I have faith that they'll create a fun game. I'm rooting for them."
Basically, whether you like D&D fourth or not, the company alienated a large part of its customer base when it developed fourth to go after another demographic. The alienating was done in such a way during 2008 that it left a bad taste in many people's mouths. And Paizo, because of licensing reasons (mostly the GSL), developed Pathfinder.
So it looks like D&D Next might be D&D Last if Loren Green doesn't get it together and realize that he has to treat his employees and customers like people and the game like a GAME. Fortunately, though, if Loren Green kills the D&D brand to get money like Perseus killed Cetus to save Andromeda; there are still dragons out there. the legacy of D&D -- the GAME -- will still live through the Open Gaming License and it's fans.
E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson created a game that was sorely needed by the public, at least by those who wanted to produce their own adventures after studying mythology and watching many of the Hollywood fantasy movies that were coming out at the time (you can also include Star Wars in the list). They opened a door that cannot be closed.
The hobby will continue after Loren Green has slain the dragon in Dungeons and Dragons. The brand may die, and people will be sorrowful, but the hobby will live on and creative intelligent people will still create D&D their way. To sum up, the face of D&D is dying but long live the D&D game.