Relic had a good track record, so it could be persuasion from Sega about the financial growth of the game.
Also, before release, they probably knew that they were releasing a tough pill for longtime fans to swallow. It was right for longtime fans to find it difficult to accept.
Lastly, they didn't decide on any major overhauls to re-capture longtime fans, but decided to drop the game instead.
Now the conflict was real, the problem was real, and we shouldn't try to gloss over it.