It's been in the mix for a while, but recently, I've noticed more about more folks railing against the number of retro-clones and retro-cousins we have available out there. Games such as Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy, and Swords & Wizardry were all "first wave" games of this effort, and now we have games like Lamentations of the Flame Princess WFRP, Dark Dungeons, and the upcoming Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.
First, some of these games aim to honor or emulate specific versions or editions of Dungeons & Dragons. That's why you have Dark Dungeons vs. Swords & Wizardry White Box, which are concerned with two different iterations of D&D.
I'm not going to say every clone coming out grabs me; they don't. Ultimately, the market will bear what the market will bear. If Raggi's LotFP ends up more popular than another RPG on the OSR circuit, so be it. It isn't as if these are giants issues of compatibility we're talking about here. At worst, it's like two people speaking American English--one from Texas, and one from Boston. It's still the same language, just with some quirks. The two people can still use the same textbooks, read the same newspapers, watch the same TV channels. In the same way, just because you're using Labyrinth Lord and I'm playing around with Swords & Wizardry, we can still use ideas from old-school supplements, Fight On!, or ideas passed around online.
But I'll tell you this: you will never get people to line up between a single retro-clone. Even if Wizards of the Coast tomorrow made OSRIC an official, supported line, you'd still have people producing for other retro-clones. And I get that some really great gamers don't get much out of the entire neoclassical gaming concern, but that doesn't change the fact that it's got an interested, self-publishing audience.
We're seeing a hundred different tweaks, variants, and alternate presentations of a venerable and inspirational source material, and I think it rocks.