The Forgotten Realms will be supported from the start, and a video game art studio from China has been hired to fully detail the Realms. We asked if going forward support would be continued for the current time after the Spellplague and the Neverwinter Campaign. A WotC spokesperson answered, "The Forgotten Realms has a rich history and we will support all of it. It is for the gamers to decide which time they would enjoy playing in." That would allow Wizards to take advantage of a massive back catalog of products.
There are no current plans that we know of for other settings - we assume these will follow in later years.
"Just as fans like different mechanics and styles of play, so too do they like lots of settings. Were making plans to ensure that your setting of choice is incorporated into our plans, but right now its too early to go into specifics." - Mike Mearls.
On timelines: "I can't give a specific answer to that. We know there are things that people like and dislike about different timelines in the various settings. If there's information that's part of the canon, it still happened. We won't tell people in what time period to play in." - Mike Mearls.
Other Settings: "The stories and worlds of past editions of D&D are just as important to our development and ideas for D&D Next as the rules and other information is. I don't have any more information to share at this time, but we're definitely exploring and excited about what we have planned." - Mike Mearls.
A video game art studio from China has been hired to fully detail the Realms.
The Future of Dungeons & Dragons by D&D's Senior Art Director, Jon Schindehette (who will also be writing some articles for DDI "to talk about the creative process involved with the creation of D&D, and the art and artists of Dungeons & Dragons" starting in February).
"...in the last two editions if you look at the art, I think you'll see a lot of characters that look like super heroes. They all look like they've been to the gym recently, they don't have backpacks for traveling through the dungeon - the guys are well shaven. In our recent art we've added a more diverse, modular approach - you've got people that look vastly different. You'll have the halfling who's a bit overweight with some food stains on his clothes along side the more heroic look dashing sort." - Jeremy Crawford
"Art should tell the story of D&D. Show you a scene that looks like it's an adventure." - Mike Mearls.
3rd Parties, OGL, GSL
"We'll have more information on the GSL as it relates to the next edition in the near future. Personally, I have a copy of 'The Cathedral & the Bazaar' on the shelf at work From my days as a programmer and as a freelance RPG designer, the bulk of my work involved open platforms which did a lot for a game that relies so much on individual creativity." - Mike Mearls.
"And although of course no one can possibly speak with actual authority of the future on this topic, I can assure you that the OGL issues that plagued 4th Edition's release are lessons that did not go unheeded." - Bruce Cordell.
"I think that an open license speaks to how people think about D&D, and in some ways it is a big part of the games culture. We want people to feel like were making an effort to include everything that they love about the game, and were exploring options for third party publishers." - Mike Mearls.
What of 4E and DDI?
No solid information yet.
"We plan to continue offering people access to tools like the D&D Character Builder and the D&D Monster Builder to support 4th edition. We're also exploring ideas for conversion tools so that some of the 4th edition characters and content will be playable with the next edition." - Mike Mearls.
"At this point our plans are to continue to provide support to 4E characters in the character builder." - Mike Mearls.
DDI Virtual Table: "We also designed the tool with the flexibility to support integration with tools, stat-blocks, and skins for all editions of D&D, including future ones." - Rory Madden (producer for Game Table Online, the company making the Virtual Table for DDI)
PDFs/Digital: "We're definitely looking into the digital options and we want to find ways to get that product to people, but we need to make sure we find what what's best for you and for Wizards. When we have more information we'll be sharing it." - Mike Mearls.
Errata: "We're working on a better process for errata, and we hope very much to not have as much errata in D&D Next." - Mike Mearls.