Wizards of the Coast have detailed their launch plans for the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. It's been confirmed that the name 'D&D Next' was just a placeholder and has now been ditched: the game will officially just be called D&D but '5th Edition' is an informal description for it.
The launch schedule is as follows:
15 July: D&D Starter Set
19 August: Player's Handbook, Hoard of the Dragon Queen (adventure)
30 September: Monster Manual
21 October: The Rise of Tiamat (adventure)
19 November: Dungeon Master's Guide
Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro are betting a lot on the release of the new edition, especially as their plans for a tie-in movie franchise were torpedoed by a legal challenge by the previous rights-holders. 4th Edition, release in 2008, was a financial failure (after an initially promising start) and its mixed critical reception tore the core D&D fanbase apart. Many D&D fans have moved onto games like Pathfinder, 13th Age and Numenera, not to mention various 'retroclones' (games by third parties based heavily on older editions of D&D). The high price of 5th Edition ($50 each for the rulebooks and $30 for the adventures) isn't likely to do much to tempt them back.
One factor in D&D's favour is that its primary competition (and the pen-and-paper RPG market-leader for the last few years), Pathfinder, has now been going for over five years and is starting to get a little long in the tooth. With no proper second edition on the horizon for that game, D&D 5th Edition may tempt some fans to at least take a look. However, if 5th Edition fails to do well, we might be looking at the retirement of the D&D game for some time to come.