Just wanted to post this for the peeps, in case you missed it. Good on Ethan Gilsdorf for asking the question. Gildorf's a good guy and met with one of my classes virtually last year. Anyway, I'm not quite sure what to take from this answer. Mearls could have slam dunked it, but didn't.
Gilsdorf: When I contacted you last fall, you and your colleagues at Wizards spoke about how the major goal for this rules revamp was big picture, brand and relevance stuff — how to unite all the warring tribes; end the editions wars; get older, lapsed players to play again; and get younger generations excited about D&D. The changes you’re talking about here seem a little smaller-scale. Can you point to some bigger-picture ways you are addressing these issues?
Mearls: The really big questions are, in some ways, still up in the air. Right now, we’re sort of heads down, focusing on small details for the playtest. We have some fairly big ideas we’re working on in terms of RPGs as a whole, but that stuff is still fairly far off on the horizon. Right now, we really are down in the weeds in terms of details, and you’re right that the stuff we’re talking about right now is fairly small in terms of the big picture. However, that big picture still isn’t in focus. I think a mistake we made in the past was to try to make these big, grandiose statements, but in doing that we lost track of the core elements of what people enjoy about RPGs. We also ended up touting things that we couldn’t actually execute on, and no one wants that to happen again.With all that said, we’re definitely thinking big picture. That work is taking place, but it’s not ready for prime time.