In efforts to reach out and make Dungeons & Dragons accessible to a wider audience, Wizards of the Coast is taking a big leap. With the release of Tyranny of Dragons, WotC is going to make a free PDF called Basic D&D available for anyone to download. As the updated books are released, the Basic D&D PDF will also update to reflect monster manuals, DM guides, and more!
Basic D&D is somewhat like a core book, it goes over the rules of the game and can take players from level 1 to 20. The PDF will cover the fighter, rogue, wizard, and cleric classes, and the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human races. As the story for Tyranny of Dragons continues, the Basic D&D PDF will update to cover any gaps or concerns brought up by the continuing story.
I think this new approach will help bring back some D&D players who may have been pushed away by more recent editions, and make the game easier to start for new players. It looks like we can see a release date close to July 15th, and we will be sure to update you all with a link when the PDF is made available, likely in the Quick News for that week. This opportunity is a great chance for WotC to show the gaming community what their hopes are for D&D, and we are interesting to see how it progresses!