The story is that both SiN and Half-life were releasing almost simultaneously at the end of 1998. To beat Half-life to market Activision shipped an unfinished, buggy version of SiN. This naturally explains the 20Mb patch that I had to download over dialup in January 1999 and it gives context to the sign in the screenshot:
So it is amusing to note the irony that all these many years later the original SiN and an episodic sequel utilizing Valve's Source engine were both released on Valve's online delivery system, Steam. How'd that work out for Ritual? They're now going to make casual games and the SiN episodic game experiment appears to be shelved, if not outright dead.
One wonders if Ritual ought to have taken its own advice.
I'm more than willing to place blame where blame is due, but in the case of "SiN Ep," Valve had nothing to do with the failure.
The game made back what it cost to make it and was making enough to pay for the team that was allocated for it...but not enough for the rest of the company when the company couldn't get a contract for them.