The first inclination I had that Neverwinter was going to be a continuing franchise was a comment made by Ed Greenwood on his Facebook blog about Dungeons and Dragons: Neverwinter, little did I know at the time how big WotC was going to make it.
Now, the game is being coupled with a trilogy of novels by their best-selling author R.A. Salvatore (taking up half of those left that he has to write by the terms of his contract), and seemingly a supplement that will kick-start what looks like a miniature campaign setting in & of itself.
I don't get enough time online to really investigate DnD:Nw but I did get given the first of those books: Gauntlgrym for my birthday on Wednesday. I finished said book yesterday afternoon and I came away from it with one thought clear in my mind: Salvatore has lost most of his artistic direction to his contract.
While Bob has obviously strived to placate the fans who were getting bored with the Legend of Drizzt, it seemed to me that the books sole purpose, other than selling copies, was to launch 4e Neverwinter. He establishes the major organizations active in the area, one of the major local dungeons, a new type of monster that will obviously become the bane of adventuring parties in the region and explains in a very 4e way how Neverwinter got into the state it was in as described ever so briefly in the FRCG, i.e. a Primordial did it.
I've been very vocal about my disdain for WotC trying to make the Forgotten Realms fit so neatly with its generic 4e setting and Primordials are a big reason for it.
Ah well, I did enjoy the book for the books sake as well and I really like where Bob is taking Drizzt with the possible new love interest, leaving his past behind him and the almost morality swap between him & Jarlaxle.