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- An Honest Answer
Though I am loathe to link to anything from the "old school" crowd, I'm sure that anyone "in the know" will be able to divine the origins of the query, which ponders the longevity of the fourth iteration of Dungeons & Dragons. In other words, will people still be playing it years from now, talking about it, creating houseruled, marketable variations. For some bizarre reason the inquirer is under the impression that while older, draconic editions have persevered despite the passage of time that newer editions (read: 4E) will not fare so well.
I agree that good games will be played well beyond the point at which the company no longer supports them, with Planescape: Torment being a prime example. 4th Edition is an exceptionally well made game. It is to me for analog action adventure fantasy role-playing games what Planescape: Torment was to digital Dungeons & Dragons games. Will I be playing it in 15-20 years? I don't know. That depends on a lot of factors, such as what--if anything--Wizards does with the brand, what I'm doing, what my friends are doing, etc.
Assuming my gaming circle's schedule remains constant and 5th Edition sucks ass, then I'll stick to 4th Edition until my friends and I run out of stories to tell. Otherwise, I'll move on to 5th Edition and continue to tell the same stories. I think the better answer is if I'll run out of stories in 15-20 years.