Due to my non-disclosure agreement, as well as a desire to keep things on a professional level, I have no intention of going into further detail at this time. (Mostly, I just hate drama, and would rather talk about more interesting things.)
As for what I’ll be turning to next, I hope you’ll stay tuned. I plan on having an interesting announcement in that regard in the near future.”
In Mike Mearl’s response to Monte Cook’s departure we can read : “I am surprised, and frankly saddened, by Monte’s decision to leave the D&D Next design team. I’d like to thank him for his contribution, and we all wish him well.”
Since Monte remained vague on the how and why of his departure, the internet speculations quickly took over. One of those speculations was why Monte mentioned Rob Schwalb and Bruce Cordell in his blogpost, but not Mike Mearls. This in turn led to another blogpost called ‘Praise and criticism’ where Monte replies to some of the speculations regarding his departure: “Praise for one person is not criticism for another. Singling out one does not automatically imply exclusion of another.
To be certain, I enjoyed much of my time working with everyone who’s been involved with the new edition of D&D: Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Bruce Cordell, Rob Schwalb, Miranda Horner, Tom LaPille, Rodney Thomson, Greg Bilsland, Matt Sernett, Rich Baker, James Wyatt, and everyone else. The WotC RPG R&D department is full of talent.
Bruce and Rob were the guys I spent each and every day with, though. They were my team. I’ll miss the daily doses of their creativity and friendship.”
A lot of people don’t see this as a good sign for the next version of D&D, to lose one of the big forces behind their third edition. On the 24th of May, the open playtests will start and we’ll see how what direction D&D will take for the next few years.