WotC WotC can, and probably should support multiple editions of D&D.

ECMO3

Hero
sure, give me those numbers and I need more than PHB and DMG alone to beat 1e, but it remains beat.

Why don't you give me the numbers.

The numbers we know for a fact put TSR 1E way ahead.

You claim that the bookscan only account for 30-40% of 5E sales, I am claiming that the TSR numbers account for less than 50% of their sales.

Until you can find numbers for the 1E products you have no evidence at all 5E sold more (even if you insist on not including Dragon Magazine).


You already give yourself a bit of an advantage because you have so many 32 page modules while 5e has fewer ones

How is that an advantage?

The point is which sold more, this is one reason why 1E sold more.

And by magazines are print publications about 1E. I get that you want to exclude them because it blows your argument out of the water, but as a point of fact they were print copy of 1E material that WOTC sold.

The novels weren't I agree with that.

but in the 200-300 page range… so we could also compare $ (adjusted for inflation) instead of headcount, pretty sure you do not want that

We could. That is not relevant to sales volume though.

I am also not sure that would favor the new format. I think the modules were selling for around $8 each in the 1980s (I am not sure of that but I think it is about what we payed). You can pick up the hardcover adventures for about $30 in 2024.


no idea if that is 80%, I doubt it is even 50%
It is a lot more than 50%. The adventures combined sold ~1M and the cookbook, DM screen and cookbook sold 500k, the rest sold ~2M



… no idea how much is missing for 1e

Exactly, you don't. So you have no idea if your statement is true.

I on the other hand I do have an idea because I was alive and buying D&D while 1E was being sold and a lot of the stuff that is missing sold in very high volume.

all of Dark Sun sold like 250k units, so a third of the PHB for 2e, I am not expecting the 1e adventures to fare much better.
If you take the bookscan numers and multiply them by 3 (33% of total) only 7 of the 5E adventures sold more than 250k and all of the adventures combined sold about 3M (note this includes the correction factor).

If you have 73 1E modules selling 250k units each that is 18 million units sold. I don't think it is that many, but if it was it would destroys your argument. Add that 18M to the 1E books we do have numbers for and you are at 28M (much more than 4s the bookscan) and you still have a ton of 1E material unaccounted for.
 

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ECMO3

Hero
You would need to find exact numbers. Most modules sold less than 20k.

I agree you would need to find exact numbers and you would need those numbers before you could support any claim that 5E outsold 1E.

I think most modules sold more 20k. Then numbers I have seen written (unverified) were between 50k and 150k on average during the 1980s. Higher before the 1980s and lower in the 1990s (which would mostly be 2E).

And sales of 100k over 12 years for dragon don't add up to 10 million. Idk when Dragon hit 100k in sales either.

It was at 125k per month at its peak. I think that comes from a post from Jim Ward. I assume the peak would be around 1983.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
There's a fundamental problem with @ECMO3 's premise.

How many of those that bought 1e, 2e and/or Basic/Expert books have also bought 5e books? In other words, even if he's right and AD&D sold so many copies - how many of those people are still in the hobby but not into 5e? There's no evidence that there is this huge, untapped market of Gen X'ers (which is what we're talking about) who are interested in D&D, but not 5e.

Very few. If you go back to my original post I did not say it was a good idea to do this, only that if they did do it, it would make more sense for 1E than for 3E (as originally suggested) as OSR is focused on 1E.

In pure numbers I purchased more 1E content than I have 5E content, but I purchased more 5E hardcovers. I also play 5E exclusively now and have no interest in further 1E product.
 

ECMO3

Hero
You cannot possibly be serious. You have no evidence that this number is anything even remotely close to reality.

If you OA2 Night of the Seven Swords sold 250k units, I have a bridge for sale.

I am not the one who provided that number, and if you copied a bit more of my post you would see I said "I don't think it is that many"
 


mamba

Legend
It apparently needed repeating because you couldn't see it the first time?
given that I replied to the first one I’d say that is incorrect

Look, the argument is that WotC can support multiple lines of D&D at the same time. The evidence for this is because during the TSR days, TSR supported multiple lines
yes

and had combined sales exceeding 5e. Is that a close enough approximation?
they did not exceed 5e sales and I do not think the argument cares about this either way.

I am not even sure there is an argument outside of ‘they could’ and ‘I would like them to’, if there is, I have not seen it
 


ECMO3

Hero
And your evidence for this is?

I've bought FAR more 5e material than I bought for 1e and I started in 1982. I guess my anecdote counters yours.

To be clear what I am responding to your question:

In other words, even if he's right and AD&D sold so many copies - how many of those people are still in the hobby but not into 5e?


My answer:

Very few [are still in the hobby but not into 5E].

You want me to provide evidence for something I agree with you on?

As far as buying material, I have purchased about 75% of the 5E material that is available in print. I purchased about 20% of the 1E material available in print (not including magazines and not counting reissues). I have more in total numbers in 1E because there was such a higher volume and variety of stuff that was published.

If I bought every single thing wotc has published in print for 5E I would have less actual "things" than I have for 1E even though I only have a fraction of what was available for 1E.
 
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mamba

Legend
Why don't you give me the numbers.
because I do not have them…

The numbers we know for a fact put TSR 1E way ahead.
and we know for another fact that the 5e numbers should be multiplied by about 4, and then your 1e numbers are dwarfed

You claim that the bookscan only account for 30-40% of 5E sales,
I am claiming they account for a quarter to a third of US sales, based in the analysis by Teos Abadia

I am claiming that the TSR numbers account for less than 50% of their sales.
yeah, show it… not even sure it came out ahead if they did, since you are lowballing the 5e numbers by a factor of 4

Until you can find numbers for the 1E products you have no evidence at all 5E sold more
and you have none that it did, yet you keep insisting on it…

How is that an advantage?
because selling 10 books at $5 is easier than selling 10 books at $50, and you focus on headcount over revenue for no real reason other than that it benefits you. If you compare the sales between two companies you usually do that in $, not units.

The point is which sold more, this is one reason why 1E sold more.
it didn’t sell more despite this advantage…

And by magazines are print publications about 1E. I get that you want to exclude them because it blows your argument out of the water, but as a point of fact they were print copy of 1E material that WOTC sold.
sure they are print publications, but they are not TTRPG books. If all that matters is that it is in print, I add MtG cards ;)

That is not relevant to sales volume though.
it is the more common measure of sales though

I am also not sure that would favor the new format. I think the modules were selling for around $8 each in the 1980s (I am not sure of that but I think it is about what we payed). You can pick up the hardcover adventures for about $30 in 2024.
it does though, because TSR never made anywhere near the money WotC makes with D&D per year now, even adjusted for inflation

It is a lot more than 50%.
did you look at the Bookscan numbers or are you just eyeballing it? I assume the latter

Exactly, you don't. So you have no idea if your statement is true.
you do not know either, but I’d say I have a pretty good idea that I am right given the numbers we do have

I on the other hand I do have an idea because I was alive and buying D&D while 1E was being sold and a lot of the stuff that is missing sold in very high volume.
guess what, I was around too, I’d say you have no idea. Most modules sold so little that combined they sold less than the 5e PHB, and for each one that sold well there is a 5e one that outsold it

If you have 73 1E modules selling 250k units each that is 18 million units sold
in your dreams, the average sales were more like 25k units
 
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