You hear-uh, read me: D&D is dead.
Dead dead dead dead dead.
How can I say such a thing? Am I out of my MIND?! Am I just trolling? Do I even know what I'm talking about?
Easy. No. Nope. Yes.
D&D as a brand name -and that's exactly what it is to the holder of that specific IP- is past its prime. I don't care what D&D Brand Fantasy Gaming Tomfoolery does, or doesn't do. The only reason it has any relevance anywhere is because of the brand-name recognition -- in other words, someone somewhere cares what D&D Brand Fantasy Gaming Tomfoolery does, or doesn't do.
I think it's time to stop.
D&D the game, the hobby, the influence, the legacy, the thing -- that mofo's immortal. People are playing it, people are cloning it, people are rolling their own. Your Favorite Edition may or may not still be in print, but print copies of it abound. You can buy 'em, you can even, uh, acquire 'em. You can choose from a bunch of clones like Labyrinth Lord or Castles & Crusades or Swords & Wizardry and about a ho-dozen others. There are tons of existing rules sets and variants and supplements and, thanks to the OGL and the efforts of like-minded dorks without number, there are new rules sets and variants and supplements all the damn time.
D&D as an activity is never, ever going away.
Because we support it. Not because some company does, or doesn't -- because you do. I do.
D&D, name brand, belongs to a company. That company is sticking the name on...I dunno what the fuck it is now. I don't care what it is now. Whatever. No longer relevant.
D&D, legacy, love, distraction, camaraderie, fandom, game, activity, synergy of millions of nerd-hours of gleeful goof-whackery or thoughtful immersion into setting and role or enthusiastic exercise in creativity and shared world-building or wanton imaginary destruction and looting --
-- that D&D will never die. It's bigger than its name. It cannot be killed.
Let D&D die, because D&D will forever live.