D&D General Ben Riggs Shares 2001 D&D 3.0 Core Book Sales.

darjr

I crit!
Bens Book, Slaying The Dragon, is now out in paper back and with his interesting style of advertising it he's shared sales graphs with us!

Behold! D&D corebook sales from 2001!
Last week, my book Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons, came out in paperback. In honor of the event, I will be releasing the sales data for pretty much every D&D product that came out in 2001. I picked 2001 because it is the first full year of the release of 3rd edition. Also, I don’t have sales numbers for 2000. If you’re a former WotC employee with sales numbers to share with history, please DM me!
Below, there are three charts detailing the sales of the 3rd edition Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual. The first details sales by month of the three corebooks.
The second shows total sales by corebook in that year. Unsurprisingly, the PHB sold the best, but the Monster Manual outsold the DMG, which is a surprise to me.
The third chart compares the sales of the 2nd edition PHB & DMG in their first full year of release to the 3rd ed PHB & DMG. 3rd edition sold exponentially better, confirming with data the fact that 3rd edition was a hit.
Lastly, in the comments, you will find the raw data for these numbers.
Also in the comments, a link to buy my book if you have not yet done so!
More charts to come this week…


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You can buy Bens book via the link he shared.
https://read.macmillan.com/lp/slaying-the-dragon/

If you want to follow the original facebook post it's here
 
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darjr

I crit!
Kieth Strohm chimes in about the sales estimates he made for 3.0 and how those were aggressive compared to 2e sales. He also states how those turned out to be slow and they went to reprint quickly.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Dancy has said something similar very long time ago. 3.0 was very front loaded that 1st year 280k sales iirc.

Half of that was 2000 though.
2E sold more overall afaik but you're comparing 3 years vs 11 and 3.0 came close.

They rushed ot 3.5 essentially as a cash grab.

Riggs numbers generally very similar to what's been out there for years. Bit higher in some cases.
 


Stormonu

Legend
Dancy has said something similar very long time ago. 3.0 was very front loaded that 1st year 280k sales iirc.

Half of that was 2000 though.
2E sold more overall afaik but you're comparing 3 years vs 11 and 3.0 came close.

They rushed ot 3.5 essentially as a cash grab.

Riggs numbers generally very similar to what's been out there for years. Bit higher in some cases.
Yeah, 3.5 came too soon, but from what I was seeing in my area 3.0 sales had rapidly dropped off after the first two years of 3.0 (basing that off of two local conventions - year 1-2 of 3.0 there were about 50 games being played, afterwards I was the only one attempting run D&D games and couldn't get enough players to run an event. 3.5 had a small bump that lasted less about a year).
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Pretty respectable: to get a real stlry out of that would need the 2000 and 2002 numbers. This looks decent, but could be a huge dropoff from 2000. If there was a huge drop-off, that would explain the panic release of 3.5
 



darjr

I crit!
James Fallone steps in to the discord.
Absolutely! 3.0 was a very important launch in a lot of ways because of its role as a post-digital world release. Early 2E data was largely on paper. Much of what was digital sales data was not rolled up by title and was separated in year-end print outs by channels and account which had to be consulted and added together. Also, the pre-digital green card data held nuanced stories behind it that only Kathy Lynch knew the context of. By 3.0 without Kathy, much of the green card data could only be taken at face value. To accurately set estimates you didn't just need 2.0 sales data, you needed 2.0 sales lore. But on the plus side, there were 361 million Internet users in 2000, worldwide. For perspective, that's barely two-thirds of the size of Facebook today. But early adopters are our peeps and we were able to build 3.0 viral excitement with online media and fandom with speed and coverage that was not available before. It was a great launch.
 

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