DDO (Dungeons & Dragons Online) came out, using 3.5 rules, and a year or so after that WotC released 4th edition.
Now Neverwinter Online is coming out, more or less using 4th edition rules, and I suppose around a year or so after that 5th edition should be going to stores.
As far as I know WotC doesn't gain direct profit from those (subscriptions and sales) other than the licensing of the product, but in any case a game with potentially hundreds of thousands of players is one hell of a propaganda for the tabletop D&D. I know personally at least a few people who hadn't played tabletop D&D in years and decided to pick up a 3ed game again (or for the first time) after playing DDO for a while.
Except... it seems the propaganda is always being made for the edition of D&D that WotC isn't investing anymore. I know it's probably no one's "fault", and these things have long production times, and you can never trully predict an exact release date, and all that... But a little coordination between WotC and the video-games companies to which they licence their products would undoubtedly help WotC a lot. Especially with the publicity video-games have nowadays (quite different from the times of the rather-obscure Menzoberranzan and Shattered Sands computer games).
Should WotC be investing, as a side-project, in a video-game based on D&DNext to be released not long after Next is out?
I heard that recently WotC was sought about a sequel to the renowned Planescape:Torment game... and that they refused it...
If it's true... why, I wonder?
Seems like a big waste of marketing potential to me.