Create modules, gadgets, computer programs, games, worlds. Sell monster supplements, new editions of old books with fixed-up artwork, modules, pre-generated characters, maps, rulers, minis, grids, movies, notebooks and lunch boxes.
•Re-publish core rulebook and sourcebooks for all previous editions of D&D.
•Re-publish all old D&D supplemental content such as modules and settings for all editions.
•Re-publish old issues of Dragon and Dungeon Magazine in POD or eBook formats.
•Use POD and eBook formats such as EPUB, PDF, and Kindle to release the vast library of D&D content without stock overhead.
•Convert modules and campaign settings originally published under one edition, and publish them under all other editions.
•Combine all material from the current 4E edition, including errata and Essentials materials, to create more streamlined version of this edition to be re-published.
•Sponsor DDI support for all four editions, including Character Builders, Monster & Encounter Designers, and Rules Compendiums. Allow fans to buy subscriptions to each support program separately, or to subscribe to bundles, or the entirety of DDI support, as desired.
•Implement the use of new technology in all editions of D&D, either through internal development or outsourcing. Publish Player and Dungeon Master apps for palm devices, tablets, and smart phones.
•Release new content for all editions in Dragon and Dungeon Webzine articles, allocating percentage of pages in proportion to DDI subscriptions for each edition.
•License all editions under a new agreement to encourage 3rd Party Publishers to support all editions of the game.
•Design and release of new supplemental content (modules, sourcebooks, campaign settings, etc.) can be published for all editions – one product sells to four consumer groups!
So instead of making D&D they should be merchandising it and rehashing it? Creating products that at best are insubstantial trinkets or tangential add-ons, and at worse are garbage that drags the brand down?
The problem with trying to make WotC into a "content provider" is that providing content really isn't the role of any company. Characters, stories, and even rules are handled best by individual players and DMs. There is a content market for people who lack the time or ability to create their own, but that isn't much for a company the size of WotC to base a business model on. Moreover, the better the rulesets that are out there, and the better that people understand them and can use them to create content, the less demand for settings/adventures/etc. there is.
This is an inherent problem with rpgs as a business. With most hobbies, as people become more avidly invested in the hobby, they spend more time and money on it. However, with D&D, people generally spend more time and less money on it as they get better at it.
From a business perspective, this is an unsolvable problem. The hobby itself is predicated on individual creativity, so content providing won't work. D&D is archetypically a game played in private space with minimial equipment that lasts a long time; there's really very little way of monetizing it. Mechanical innovation sells products (along with branding, art, and other peripheral things), but this is a path with no clear direction or endpoint. Simply revising and improving the rules was deemed unsuccessful, so they tried reinventing them (to put it nicely), angering a large part of their customer base without really expending the hobby to new audiences, causing them to decide that this was not a success either they needed to radically change something (again).
So if you (@Neuroglyph or anyone else) want to say that 5e isn't a solution, I agree. And I do think that there is some room to republish old material or sell it online and to create edition-free setting products, but that's not going to make money on the scale that selling the substance of the game (the rules) does. It's not a solution, either. However, if there is a solution to make rpgs a functional business model in the long term, I have not seen it.