Mike talks about the Dungeon Master's Guide in this week's Legends & Lore.
Back when we first started the process of creating fifth edition, we made it clear that we're committed to taking the time to get things right. Even when we announced our release dates, we knew that there could be risks we would face to hit the deadlines we had established.
One of the nice things about releasing the core rulebooks over the course of a few months is that we've had the opportunity to use the feedback from one book to help shape the later ones. We've been very happy with the overwhelming response to the Player's Handbook and the excitement we've seen among people who have gotten early access to the Monster Manual. The extra time we put into those books is clear when you notice the polish on both the text and the layout.
The text of both books received a level of review and oversight that sets a new standard for D&D. We added an entire additional cycle of design and editing to ensure that the books were as close to perfect as humanly possible. The layout and visual design was the result of hours spent carefully handcrafting the books. That extra time proved to be a huge boon, as the designers had the chance to go through each book page by page to make sure everything fit perfectly.
Unfortunately, that additional effort came at the expense of the development schedule for the Dungeon Master's Guide.
We know that people are eager to get their hands on all three core rulebooks, but we cannot compromise our commitment to excellence at this time. We examined a number of possibilities, but none gave us the additional time we needed to put into the DMG without sacrificing content or quality. Therefore, the only choice we had is to push back the release date by three weeks.
The new release date for the Dungeon Master's Guide is December 9th. For those stores that take part in our early release program, the book goes on sale November 28th.
Believe me, we did not make this decision lightly. However, we believe that accepting a few additional weeks of work on our end, and waiting on yours, is worth the years of enjoyment provided by a rock solid Dungeon Master's Guide that has followed in the footsteps of the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual.
Thank you for your patience. We truly believe that once you have the DMG in your hands, it will be worth it. (And as a final note, we offer the following preview art from the DMG: The Great Modron March by Justin Gerard.)