Duke Nukem 3D was made for $300,000, and we made back 25 times our investment--not to mention all of the third-party Duke console games that sold well. Plus, we made a killing with Wolfenstein 3D. And we made the biggest killing on Max Payne! We made $30 million in royalties on that game (off of a $2.5 million investment), plus another $48 million selling the IP to our publisher. Oh, and we were also part owners of Gathering of Developers when that was sold to Take2. And finally, we have been pretty lucky with other investments, both in the stock market and in other studios.
How exactly do you throw so much of that money away on one failed project that you get to the point where you have to fire your internal development team?