I think it was the case that most of the staff were just happy to have a job after VIS collapsed.
Maybe what happened was that it got to the stage that quite a bit of money was invested in the game that it would have been hard to can it. When VIS when pop, it probably wasn’t super expensive to acquire the game.
So best just to try and finish it to a playable state and ship it, hoping that there is a audience out there for it.
The first one sold a million copies if I remember correctly but that was on the back of GTA3 and its controversy…and the buzz surrounding Rockstar (they published the orginal SOE)