Rebuilding a whole game would've meant signfiicantly more content creation time though.
Since they were self funding, I don't have any doubt that it would've sunk them as a company. It is entirely possible that the whole idea started as a proof of concept mod, in which case they did start learning the engine and probably did work with modding existing content, but after that they would've had to have been working on something that would really sell.
I realize that 'definately' is not meant for the realm of theory, but I'm just going by what I know of the market. When 85% of titles fail in the PC game market, do you really think a remake would generate enough interest to sell? Not to me, and I buy a LOT of PC games. (Way more than I need to, probably.) And at $5, there's not even a chance they'd make up for the time spent as well as the tech support and all that.
I'm a big fan of Emergence, and I never even played the original (well, maybe the demo?) until I got it free on Steam. It does have quite a few noticable lacks, but the gameplay is a lot of fun. The weapons are great, and the characters weren't put into play enough but they entertain me nonetheless. I hope they even introduce more of them. (I know Blade will be talking more in the future, supposedly it ws only because he wasn't feeling so hot given what he was shot up with.)
There is definately a thing in gaming where you stick with the same characters all the time. I can understand this because of content creation times and all that, but I'm hoping this episodic stuff will make other characters that don't necessarily keep with the entire story but come around occasionally appear more often.
Anyway, I'm obviously not trying to make you agree with me, just talkin.