I’ve seen a good number of D&D 4e fans on forums like RPG.net complain that WOTC is ignoring 4e fans (and the design features of D&D 4e they like) in their rush to make 5e popular with fans of pre-4e D&D. I have no idea whether they really are throwing 4e fans under the bus as I haven’t even seen a playtest draft of the rules. However, I wonder why 4e fans seem so surprised that WOTC might do this, given that WOTC basically threw a large number of fans of 0e-3.5e under the bus when they came out with 4e, which was very different from previous versions of D&D. If a company was willing to throw a sizable number of its pre-4e customers away to try to meet corporate profit goals three or four years ago, why would anyone be surprised if they decide to do it again with a different set of customers as they chase their next corporate profit goal?
I understand that 4e fans are at least as upset about being thrown under the bus as 3.x fans were when 4e came out and while I could not stand 4e and am happy that 5e appears to be reversing course I don’t blame 4e fans for being upset. I just don’t understand why, given WOTC’s track record under Hasbro, they are surprised this is happening again only they are the victims this time. I suspect when 6e comes out, lots of 5e fans will be thrown under the bus in the next version of the edition mill. So long as WOTC sees a new edition every few years as the only way to make enough money to make Hasbro happy, I suspect this is going to continue to happen.