As Graham points out, Scott Rouse (brand manager for D&D) made a post on Wizards yesterday that explains the changes. To me, the most important part of the whole thing is:
November’s release of Demonweb will be the last new set that includes skirmish statistics… official sanctioning of D&D Miniatures skirmish events will cease right after D&D Experience in February.
I started with Harbinger all those years ago, and really had a blast playing the skirmish game. As a long time fan of skirmish-level minis games (Mordheim and Bloodbowl being among my favorites), DDM had the advantage of being relatively quick-playing, using familiar D&D characters and creatures, and most of all, I didn’t have to paint the damn things.Unfortunately, as the years went on, it became impossible for me to find players. Many of my friends (including several who write for this site) stuck with Warhammer, but I knew that wasn’t for me any longer. I tried getting them into it by attempting to organize booster drafts, but those always fell through. Eventually I gave up, and never got a chance to play with the revised DDM rules. I continued to buy them (even going back and buying packs from sets I missed while I was poor), but only for use in D&D. The skirmish stats became largely irrelevant, although during my last D&D 3.5 campaign, I used the RP side of the cards in almost every battle. My guess is that I wasn’t alone, and D&D players became easily the dominant buyers of the minis, which makes some sense as to why they would change how they were being sold.
Anyway, with DDM becoming an abondoned game (though The Rouse does say that they’ll follow through with their promise to update all old minis to the new rules), and Mage Knight having long ago tanked, that leaves no strong fantasy collectible minis game with good IP.
Anyway, I highly recommend giving the article a read, especially since it answers all the questions I had from the first announcement, and it’s a rare chance to see some honest talk about the business end of a WotC product.