phb_v35Not specifically e-book-related, but the news has just come out that Wizards of the Coast will be publishing a 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG. Since taking ownership of  the property in 1997, Wizards of the Coast has produced two and a half new editions of the game, experimented with open-style licensing, and subsequently moved away from it. It inspired the creation of a cloned game system, Pathfinder, when fans got upset that the 3rd/3.5th edition mechanics were being totally thrown over in favor of more MMO-like play in 4th edition.

Seeing a new edition come out every four years causes a bit of consternation among fantasy gamers, given that a lot of other games (including the prior version of Dungeons & Dragons) had seen entire decades go by without new editions. Some fans decry the constant new editions as shameless money grabs, especially given how much RPG books cost to begin with. I have heard some speculation that these constant new editions are driven by Hasbro’s ownership of Wizards of the Coast, that the company wants a more toy-line-like revenue stream and that means coming out with new versions more frequently to drive more sales.


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