Wizards of the Coast has announced that combined sales on its three core rulebooks for Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition have exceeded 1 million copies since August 2000, and that sales are continuing to increase. Both parts of that announcement are worthy of note. An average of over 300,000 copies sold for the rulebooks is a huge number by any standard, and the fact that sales are continuing to increase for WotC indicates that the audience for products based on this property continues to grow.
Although Decipher holds the Lord of the Rings RPG and CCG licenses (see 'Decipher Adds Rings RPG to CCG'), Wizards of the Coast is also benefiting from the release of the movie, according to the announcement. According to the release, 'The Dungeons and Dragons brand is experiencing a large increase in sales and popularity, due in part to the increasing notoriety of the fantasy genre in the mainstream public.'
Among other notable sales high points for the D&D books listed in the announcement were the appearance of the Player's Handbook on the NY Times and USA Today bestseller lists. WotC estimates that over 20 million people worldwide have played Dungeons and Dragons.