WW2 is something everyone relates to. World.War.Two. It engulfed the Pacific and European areas of the world in dramatic fashion and was fought by every major power in the world (even if they didn’t know they were a major power when it started).
Some of those powers still exist today, and there are still people alive that fought in those wars, whose kids heard stories, whose grandkids heard stories and those grandkids are getting ready to have their own kids if they haven’t already. Its a generational thing. World War I is slowly lost in memory. For example, when I was in high school we barely broached much of WW1 in history class and outside of Germany being the bad guy, I don’t know how it all developed. Many of the other wars we know are less involved, and in many cases isolated to one region or country of the world. Less… glamorous.
Now don’t get me wrong, some wars touch people in different ways, but we’ll never glamorize Korea or Vietnam the way we do WW2. Although the Civil War from a strategic perspective is awesome, I don’t think it can sell well when it was over slavery and an embarrassing admission that it existed as was fought over in the USA. There may be board games to replay those wars, but the scope pales in comparison to how compelling WW2 was on a global effort.
I don’t know where you went to school, but I got next to nothing on either World War. Basically what I got in school boiled down to WW1: There was a war in Europe, America saved bacon of England. And WW2: We were attacked by Japan, and we kicked the ass of some Nazis. Though to your point my friends can name more powers in WW2 then WW1 (Germany, Japan, England, America.) as opposed to (Germany, America, England). So I hope education doesn’t have much to do Axis and Allies appeal, or it may die out in the years to come.
Yeah I have to agree with that, plus most of those wars involved only a couple factions that fought, along with the ethical dilemmas of any Cold War (That said I would buy Axis and Allies: Grenada if it came out) and overwhelming firepower on one side or the other.