Not everybody wanted to convert.
Not after all of the marketing Wizards of the Coast put forth. Not the artificially lower price of the 3e core books (they were priced $20 a piece when they should have been $30).
At least I found it odd at the time. Why wouldn’t players want to update to the latest-and-greatest edition of D&D?
Early on in college I found a group of players who had stayed with AD&D Second Edition.
And there were 15-20 of them with one frazzled game master.
And they all played together in a small conference room on campus every Saturday afternoon. They even complained about there being too many people. There needed to be another DM.
“I can DM,” I said during one of these games where two-hours had gone by and the group hadn’t even left town yet to go on its epic quest. A few got excited. “But it’ll be D&D Third Edition.”
A few sighs and derisive snorts.
Maybe this really isn’t an odd thing about 3e, but rather and interesting thing about gamers.
If you’re struggling, say, to put together a 5e group and all you’re finding are 4e or Pathfinder players, don’t despair; there are hold outs with every new edition.
Your time will come.