Vocenoctum said:I can understand that 3.5 may have split the market, but I don't think the answer is to split it further. There is no guarentee that 4e will be OGL, but that doesn't affect anything, since the current license will always be available. "We're changing the system because we don't want to be left behind when the system changes" doesn't strike me as useful in the long run.
I think some publishers are devising their own systems simply to explore different options, or switch some rules they don't like for rules that suit their particular genre better -- AE and IH in the first case; Conan, Black Company, & Thieves World in the second.
The time for them to change and grow is exactly now, when everything is relatively calm and stable. They DON'T want to be competing with 4e D&D when they launch their new line - they'd be up against the PH, the DMG, and the MM for a gamer's dollar. Taking on Heros of Battle is a much, much, much better bet. (I think WotC is making a mistake with all their generic supplements, but that's just me).
I expect to see at least one print publisher bring out a D&D 3.5 clone to "fill the void" when WotC announces 4e, and Green Ronin could very well be positioning True20 as the "generic fantasy rule system" to shoot for a larger share of the market after 4e -- I'd expect the Troll Lords, with Castles & Crusades, to be looking the same way.