The english thing makes total sense to me. TSR was never particularly internationalist. More... orientalist.
My entire life it was a bookish nerd thing. zero of my non-white friends touched D&D. TMNT? Yeah that one had reach. Battletech was for the anime nerds, back when "anime nerds" had Akira, Robotech and two or three things that showed up on the Sci Fi Channel at 5 in the morning. The whole Steve Jackson Games thing was a whole different group of weirdos, basically white nerds who hated fantasy. Wizards of the Coast should get credit for that, they were the first people to think that maybe these games should be internationalized. It's the basic problem with Battletech, too - if you're heavily into it, the lore reinforces it. If you're not, the lore is out of reach because it's so poorly executed. But fuck, man, 40 frickin' years later and "Kearny-Fuchida hyperdrive" is still wedged in my brain. The whole culture around Mechwarrior was kind of a shitty extension of Dune but compared to fuckin' Star Frontiers it was Cormac McCarthy.
Computers allowed the more gamey-games to go from "simulating having fun" to "having fun."