Not even that, just if it hadn't had a post 2000 Renaissance.
Hmm, interesting. So less that D&D doesn't exist, but more that it just dies off before being revived.
To me that would heavily weight the scale toward Warcraft eventually becoming the mind share RPG game. It has all the hallmarks taken from "the original RPG", but with a scale of penetration Gygax could only have dreamed of.
Between Warcraft 2 + 3, DOTA, and WoW, it's hands down the most widespread interactive fantasy media property ever, with the possible exception of Final Fantasy.
I read an interesting theory once that suggested RPGs would have appeared anyway but would have come through sci-fi and Trek conventions whose fans were already freeform roleplaying with some parlor game influences. That would be an interesting alternate universe.
That is interesting. I can definitely envision an alternate history where RPGs are more like a narrative card game, like an advanced game of Coup, that later in the '90s melds in narrative control techniques with mechanics based on Euro board games.
So rather than Fantasy Vietnam, we end up with something that looks like a mix of Coup, Mysterium, and Catan.