Huh. 2e was considered one of the most successful editions - certainly one of the longest lived ones, which gave us pretty much all the things we consider classic D&D today - the settings, the lore, (Oh, gawds, the stacks and stacks of lore) the evolution from tabletop wargame to hobby.
The only thing that changed in 2e is they got rid of demons. For a couple of years. Then they brought them back.
Yeah, not seeing what you're seeing here.
2E sold about half of 1E and kinda helped bankrupt TSR.
Wasn't generally seen as successful. One of my favorite editions though.