So, Wizards of the Coast made a big announcement at GenCon; D&D 4th Edition will be coming out in May 2008. Given that D&D 3.5 has only been out for a few years, it looks like the current business model for RPGs is;
- Release core books for new version.
- Release splat books (complete fighter's guide, book of elves, tradition book: whatever) over a two years.
- Release new version, repeat.
White Wolf seems to be going with a similar model. It's working for now, but the length of the cycle seems to be getting shorter and shorter. The companies have figured out that they can't make money on adventures any more, and there is a limit to how many viable splatbooks a game can support.
Given that I haven't upgraded my core D&D books from 3.0 to 3.5, I don't see myself as likely to buy into 4e until I find myself playing with a group that uses it. I have doubts that the new core and splatbooks will have anything new and exciting; most likely, it'll be the same sort of stuff that 3e has with minor rules variations; there are a standard cluster of splats for each class and race that will get converted over.