I always wondered what really fueled WotC's switch to D&D 4.0. It's looking like it was attempt to shake down the customers (trying to do in a horrible way something which isn't inherently horrible) AND an attempt to screw the rest of the d20 ecosystem (trying to do something which IS inherently horrible and therefore can't be done without horror).
At the time, we thought it was strictly a matter of: "It looks like you've bought all of the 3.5 sourcebooks you're going to any time soon, so here's how we're going to get you back onto the treadmill." I know for a fact that the above and the evident dumbing-down of the new system for the apparent purpose of coaxing the kiddies off of their computers cost WotC some sales on the grown-up end.
Now, getting customers to part willingly with still more of their money is, of course, the name of the game (assuming you're in the private, i.e., productive, sector of the economy, of course, and not a drone pushing papers for some government, in which case the "willingly" part doesn't really enter the picture). But there are ethical ways of doing so and scummy ways. And WotC went all scummy on us. . .
Even my friends who did adopt 4.0, seemed to do so grudgingly. And they mostly don't seem nearly so happy with it as they were with 3.5, which, as noted in the article, many did see as a genuine improvement. OTOH, some of us never did make the transition and aren't planning to.
As to the other half of the equation, there just plain ain't no ethical way to shaft your (soon to be former) business allies. So, doubly scummy. Way to go, Wizards!
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