Mike Mearls, ‘Group Manager for the D&D Research and Development team,’ has started up a column over at the Wizards of the Coast website entitled ‘Legends & Lore’ (the title is an homage, I assume, to the post-1985 version of the AD&D Deities & Demigods book).
The aim of the column purports to be discussion of “various topics on D&D’s history, how the game has changed over the years, and where it’s going in the future.” You can read the initial post here.
Interestingly, Mearls seems to make some sort of plea for an inter-edition peace, or at least truce, here:
Whether you play the original game published in 1974, AD&D in any of its forms, 3rd Edition and its descendents, or 4th Edition, at the end of the day you’re playing D&D. D&D is what we make of it, and by "we" I mean the DMs, the players, the readers, the bloggers—everyone who has picked up a d20 and ventured into a dungeon…
When we look to the past, we learn that there are far more things that tie us together than tear us apart. The fact that we play this bizarre, arcane game puts us on the fringe of normal.
It’s not clear to me why the above claim doesn’t apply to role-playing games generally, and not simply D&D, especially given that the differences between, say, 0e (1974) D&D and 4e D&D are greater than the differences between many role-playing games that go by entirely different names. (Palladium Fantasy and Tunnels and Trolls, I would venture, have more in common with older versions of D&D than 4e D&D does.)
In any case, I share the sentiment expressed by ‘Joe the Lawyer’ here, that if WotC is sincere in wanting to ‘heal the rift’ between WotC and players of older editions, WotC could simply re-release the PDFs of all the out-of-print TSR and WotC material (i.e., the same stuff that was up for sale at RPG.now just a couple of years ago).
Of course, I’m not holding my breath. My suspicion is that the real ‘rift’ that WotC is concerned about is the one with Pathfinder (i.e., the 3.x D&D community), not curmudgeonly old grognrads like myself. (The same suspicion is expressed over at Grognardia.)