The Editor's Notes talks about how many submissions they get; they claim 30-40 a week, down from 300 a week in 1984, and a notable decline the past year. WOW! They... must have seen a LOT of crap submissions, to be honest, because some of those early submissions were real stinkers. Steve Harter mentioned getting $5,000 with the upfront plus royalties, so there was money to be made. (Once I get through the run, it will be interesting to plot out the scores, though I know I'm hardly unbiased and even my own scoring system probably shifts as I start feeling more or less sympathetic.)
Maybe many of the submissions were apps and not games? They do mention rejecting stuff like "Bowling League Secretary" for being too specific (though that sounds more useful than some stuff they do... I remember writing a Dart Team Secretary app on my PalmPilot) and also that they judge program on size, since people are going to have to type 'em in after all...
Verbatim - Mark Tuttle
Knock 31 - Robert B. Cook