Hey, that's what I thought it was, and my great aunt, Sister Camilla certainly saw it that way (it was a long summer of playing Traveller and Paranoia when she was visiting).
Then 2e came out, and the devils and demons were replaced with their simulacrum that lacked the names but certainly kept much of the imagery - because it was the time of religious backlash.
I'm going to skip 3e, as my gaming ended in 96 and didnt restart until I found Castles & Crusades. Sure, I had a lot of 3e book but I wasn't actually playing them and often wasn't even reading them.
4e was a blip on my radar.
Next is generally a frustrating mishmash of various D&D editions, cut up into chunks and blended. I really haven't liked much of what I've seen, but as I'm neck deep in the OSR that really isn't all that surprising. Heck, I even stopped showing Grumpy the latest DnD Next articles, as they really didn't interest me enough to even get worked up.
So this is kinda surprising.
From James Wyatt's latest article on the WotC site:
One of the things we want to accomplish in D&D Next is to develop the groups that serve the various demon princes and archdevils. We want to flesh them out into groups that are distinct from each other, each with its own look, agenda, and membership. So this week’s column is basically a stab at that—looking at the ways that mortals worship three different demon princes.It then goes on to describe the cults of Demogorgon (sorta a Cthulhu Cult for DnD), Baphomet
(Mr Hyde?) and Graz’zt (the worst of the Salem Witches).
I'm left asking "why"?
Why bother? The are never going to show "true evil" without hitting "Book of Vile Darkness" "Carcosa" levels and I'm pretty sure they don't want to do that, so why add demons and devils as a prominent part of the Core Next? It's not going to be enough to entice the OSR gamers who are already playing the games they want to play and it certainly won't be kid friendly.
I'm not sure what the overall aim is, but I can't see it helping. I'm sure it's fun as hell (pun intended) for the designers to write, I'm just not sure how DnD Next will benefit from it.
Unless they are going for a Midnite type of default setting. I'd play that if they could pull it off. But they won't, as Forgotten Realms is where it's at for Wizards.