When the game wrapped Wednesday night I had a conversation with the store owners (my weekly Wednesday game always meets at the game center of the local game store). It was interesting, as they weren't clued in to many of the forthcoming D&D 5th Edition announcements or details which I talked to them about at length. Some of the interesting bits I gleaned out of the conversation were as follows:
1. 4E sales had been dead pretty much since 5th edition was announced. They stopped stocking 4E a while ago, as they couldn't move any of their product on the shelves.
2. Apparently they did not like the multi-volume Player's Handbooks and had a lot of trouble selling the game because the PHB 1, 2 and 3 served as an obstacle to buy-in for new players who felt like they had to make a huge investment to start playing in order to feel like they had the complete rules (not untrue by any stretch). The subsequent Essentials books just made things worse. They are fearful that the same will happen to 5E, although I told them Mike Mearls is on record as stating WotC doesn't plan to release more than one PHB and DMG.
3. No one locally is running any D&D Encounters stuff right now, but I suggested they get involved with the planned organized play for 5E, as it sounds like it's going to go over really well. Locally Pathfinder Society people say that they are apparently expecting to lose a lot of people to the new organized play for D&D 5E, and that the memory of the very well run RPGA events is a big driver for people to go back to D&D.
4. The FLGS owners are hopeful that 5E will focus on adventure modules for sales. They are also hopeful that some sort of OGL or convenient 3PP support will come out of all this, or they feel that 5E is doomed from the get-go without the ability to demonstrate the support of independent publishers. If WotC doesn't do that then they feel it will be dead by this time next year.
5. Apparently they hadn't received any promotional material or details on the forthcoming schedule for D&D 5E, planned events or frankly anything at all from Wizards of the Coast. Hmmmmm....
Food for thought!