That's not really compatible with your "again".Less popular doesn't been crash and burn though which is what I'm outlining.
I remember an episode of Star Trek TNG that described television as a fad. If you're measuring time on a geological scale, sure, it's a fad I guess, but any activity that's been done throughout multiple generations isn't a fad.D&D's cultural footprint is WAY too big for it to die any time soon - folks referring to it as a "fad" apparently do not understand what the word "fad" means. Fads do not last for half a century.
There were enough people still playing older editions to create the OSR movement. That has to stand as some kind of example.I don't think so. If D&D stopped publishing suddenly (for whatever reason) it would be dead in the broad casual community in 2 years and dead in the gamer community in 5. Of course a handful of people would keep playing even if it was dead, but not many. Continued support keeps RPGs alive. I can't think of an example to the contrary.
The OSR movement was instigated and supported by a very small but dedicated fanbase. This fact remained true until after 5E blew up and lots of people new to the hobby started to explore its fringes and discovered (and some would say co-opted) the OSR.There were enough people still playing older editions to create the OSR movement. That has to stand as some kind of example.
I just don't think people who play D&D would get the same gaming experience, that they obviously love, switching to Call of Cthulhu.
Err... I misread your post. Early morning posts on my part are probably not a great idea...You figure that the majority of gamers out there are buying the new book every time it comes out to use? The sales certainly don't support that idea. The current player base is measured in the millions, but, I really don't think that WotC is banging out millions of copies of every single book they publish. Hundreds of thousands, maybe, but many millions? That would put them in Harry Potter level book sales.
So, no, I don't believe that. I strongly believe that most groups buy a small number of books, play with those for years, and maybe pick up a book here or there. And, that's the group, not the individual. There's already more material for 5e than most groups will use for the foreseeable future. If you start counting in 3rd party stuff, you couldn't put a tiny dent in the total amount of 5e (never minding all of D&D) material out there unless you were playing pretty much daily.
I see no evidence that the hobby needs a constant stream of new books. I understand that publishers need that. Fair enough. And, I understand that people like new books. Heck, I do too. But, I'm not really convinced that a majority (or even a really significant minority) of gamers actually pays much attention to the newest releases.
I remember someone made that joke when I was in college... a long time ago, but even then I had to laugh becuse we had women playing with us and as such we had options of women who we shared intrests with.There was a time not too long ago where many would argue that D&D was the most effective birth control available.