Jim Crocker of Modern Myths, Inc. in Northampton, Massachusetts comments on Wizards of the Coast's launch of Dungeons & Dragons: The Sundering (see "Exclusive Interview on D&D: The Sundering, Part 1 and Part 2").
By a weird little coincidence, we had an event at a local library today where the librarian had a dusty box of Dungeons & Dragons stuff leftover from a Worldwide D&D Day way back in 2008, just before 4th Edition released.  As thanks for helping her out in a pinch (a speaker cancelled at the last minute and we stepped in to take it over), she handed it on to us since she had no particular use for it.
As it happens, it was a vivid illustration of just how bad WotC has gotten at promoting D&D.  This kit came with a full set of monster minis for every DM, little boxes with cards and minis, dice, and a little D&D golf pencil for every player, and an entire bag of spine devil minis so we could give one to every single attendee.  I remember thinking at the time how impressive it was that WotC was devoting real marketing chops to the game when I first saw that kit years ago.
The big, special kickoff for The Sundering involved demanding our volunteer and staff DMs each purchase a $35 product for the privilege of doing WotC's event outreach for them.  I get that Magic: The Gathering  is where their efforts are directed, but we passed the Rubicon with this latest season of Encounters.  This I will give them, though: The Sundering is a hilariously apt name for this program, because that's exactly what it's going to do to their relationship with the RPG-friendly stores that used to really look forward to running Encounters.
The biggest tragedy is that this is a problem that could have been solved in two minutes with a watermarked PDF of just the parts of the module we need to run Encounters.  I love D&D, and we have kept running Encounters through thick and thin, despite less and less support for the current, salable version of the game as it goes into a year-long product less limbo while we wait for Next.  But this particular indignity?  Well, all good things, and all that.
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