D&D General All Basic, B/X and BECMI and Rules Cyclopedia set sales, from Ben Riggs.

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
One thing to keep in mind is that, if I recall correctly, these numbers are only for North America. That's apparently significant, because the total sales numbers for the Denning set (i.e. the black boxed set of 1991) sold just under three hundred thousand units according to this chart. But in 30 Years of Adventure, Steve Winter says it sold over a half-million units worldwide.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
One thing to keep in mind is that, if I recall correctly, these numbers are only for North America. That's apparently significant, because the total sales numbers for the Denning set (i.e. the black boxed set of 1991) sold just under three hundred thousand units according to this chart. But in 30 Years of Adventure, Steve Winter says it sold over a half-million units worldwide.
Yeah, for a lot of the world BECMI is actually the only version of D&D that hit the market, and was successful.
 





Parmandur

Book-Friend
Didn't BECMI blow up in Japan? Which eventually got them to create their own RPG, Sword World.
Yup, with locally sourced Manga style art:

2018-06-04-19.27.14.jpg


 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Was it the Mentzer set specifically in Japan?
That's the Rules Cyclopedia, which was ironically separated into different books. My understanding is that anyone playing Moldvay or Mentzer was importing English books and translating themselves for play, sort of an inverse of the Anime and Manga Fandom in the U.S. But the people doing that were often working in Manga, Anime, and video games...so Basic had a big influence in Japanese pop culture before getting thst official RC release.
 

Audiomancer

Adventurer
That's possible. I would guess that lots of however many B/X players still existed also bought that one, as Cook Expert had promised a follow-up Companion book to go to higher levels, so this would have finally fulfilled that promise.

Still doesn't explain the 1987 sales bump, though.
This was definitely the case for me. I started with the B/X box sets, and begrudgingly bought B and E. When the Companion set arrived, I was glad to finally have the expansion/extension of BX that I’d been waiting for.
 

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