Now, how is WotC like T$R? Simple, part 6 of the Game System License:
Quality and Content Standards: The nature and quality of all Licensed Products will conform to the quality standards set by Wizards, as may be provided from time to time. At a minimum, the Licensed Products will conform to community standards of decency and appropriateness as determined by Wizards in its discretion. Without limiting the foregoing, no Licensed Products will depict in any text, graphical or other manner:On other words, if you what to make a third source book using the 4e rules, then you'll be working with a short leash, because if it seems right for the Hyborian Age (or even the goddamn Bible for that matter. Read it - it has all the sex and violence most "right-mind" Christians scorn when used in other works), then you cant put it into your 4e splatbook! The first two are obvious (and the fan parts), but the last one is the most restrictive, as you cant even put in the normal tropes found in pulp fiction: African bushmen, savage Indians, "yellow peals", Nazis, mongoloids, Bible-thumpers, or any sort of slave or slave-owning people! Hell, you can't even portray bigots, feminists or homosexuals! OK, so no blood-porn and kinky eye-candy art, and no negative portrayals of anyone - w00t, sounds like fun...
(a) excessively graphic violence or gore;
(b) sexual situations, sexual abuse, pornography, gratuitous nudity of human or humanoid forms, genitalia, or sexual activity; or
(c) existing real-world minorities, nationalities, social castes, religious groups or practices, political preferences, genders, lifestyle preferences, or people with disabilities, as a group inferior to any other group or in a way that promotes disrespect for those groups or practices, or that endorses those groups or practices over another.
FUCK THAT SHIT!!! I am sick of candy-ass settings as much as I hate gratuitous magic-heavy worlds! You might be thinking, how is it good to produce a setting like F.A.T.A.L. that encourages immorality, promiscuity, wanton violence, bigotry, slavery, and negative cultural stereotypes? But the answer is simple: that is D&D at its core!!! Its a game about murderous hobos who brake into the homes of one-sided degenerate folk, so they can butcher them - even their babies - and steal their shit, so they can spend it all on booze, bitches, and magical bling-bling. When you try to downplay these facts, it becomes an awful mess like Conan the Destroyer when it downplayed all the gratuitous aspects that is intrinsic to its own genre. I don't mind the new games being cartoon versions of themselves, but why the hell should they push their diluted world views on independent publishers who what to make a unique and interesting setting under their fancy-ass system? It may seem odd to some that these things are important, or just selfish ideas, but some of the most rich and unique settings in RPG history would have never been able to be published under 2nd edition, or 4e rules. Not just the Hyborian Age, but also Tékumel, Carcosa, and a few others (far too few, in my opinion). Darksun for example, is a world that should never be bound by political correctness, as its a dark world, with morality as broken as their shattered world. For those who believe settings should be child-friendly fairs for their own sake, can all go to Hell!!!
In my games, slavery is not avoided, nor demonized - its just a way of life.