Gygax takes Arneson’s ideas. Arneson sues. The Tolkien estate threatens to sue over “hobbit.”
Gygax makes AD&D to keep Arneson out. Meanwhile, D&D becomes a focal point of the Satanic Panic.
Gygax gets ousted from TSR. TSR sues everybody making anything resembling D&D. TSR tanks.
Wizards of the Coast buys TSR, creates the OGL. The OGL causes massive glut in the RPG industry.
WotC comes out with D&D 3.5e–recycling lots of content from 3e, 2e, and 1e.
WotC comes out with D&D 4e. Everybody gets mad. Edition Wars. OSR. Paizo prospers.
D&D 5e come out. Life goes on.
I just don’t care anymore.
I used to keep in touch with what was going on in the industry more often. It can be an interesting into D&D‘s history. But it can also be a huge waste of time if you’re not part of “the industry.”
There’s an “in crowd” when it comes to RPGs, and the vast majority of tabletop gamers are just not part of it, no matter how the gaming companies try to make you feel like you’re part of the community.
The gaming companies are going to do whatever the heck they want–including targeting younger demographics and pushing the older to the side.
If you’re a D&D player, the only authority that really matters is the game master. If you’re a game master, the only authority that really matters is the desires of your players.
Frankly, I think I’d be better off if I didn’t know so much about the sordid parts of D&D‘s history.