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TSR Looking for information on the TSR side on an apocryphal story

Count_Zero

Adventurer
There's an apocryphal story I've heard about the tabletop RPG industry in Japan that I'd like to see if there's any way to find out if it's true or not.

The story goes like this: One of the common columns and featured works in Japanese tabletop RPG magazines throughout the 1980s and into the 90s are "Replays" - what we'd call now "Actual Play" reports - effectively transcripts of roleplaying sessions, serving as an example of how a roleplaying game is played, as well as serving as inspiration for Game Masters. Among the most popular of these were published by Group SNE, from a D&D group run by Ryo Mizuno, running what we now call the "Record of Lodoss War" Campaigns, and these were run in Group SNE's magazine "Comtiq". All of this part is known to be true.

And this is where we get into Apocrypha - Group SNE also had business relationships with the publisher for D&D in Japan, and based on the success of Lodoss, the sales for D&D were booming. So, according to the story, Group SNE reaches out to TSR through D&D's Japanese publisher to get a license to publish Lodoss as a campaign setting for D&D in Japan, as the first homegrown campaign setting for the game in Japan. TSR's response is "No." The consequence of this is that Group SNE goes "Well, we'll make our own game then", writes the Sword World RPG, which proceeds to outsell D&D in Japan for decades.

So, this would have been at some point in the late '80s, and I'm trying to find out if anyone still around today, who was at TSR at that time, would know if this story has any basis in fact at all.

EDIT: If you were at TSR or the RPG industry at the time, don't personally know if this has any basis in fact, but know who does that would still be incredibly helpful.
 
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