True, you certainly make a point. I, for one, choose to remain optimistic. I would like to think that too much effort has been put in to simply turn back on Re-Logic's part. Terraria by itself has already been very profitable for them, and while not all fans are looking forward to Otherworld, it will still attract new and returning fans. I imagine Re-Logic is still expecting at least a million copies to be easily sold in the first year, probably a lot more, and I wouldn't be surprised if it did, considering it will still have a lot of the elements that made the original so successful. As for whether or not it will do as well with critics, that's a whole other subject. But the fact that they were concerned with quality, so much that it caused a major delay, tells me that they are at least trying very hard.There would almost certainly be no legal issues with the original developer. The license/franchise belongs to Re-Logic, they simply contracted out work to an external developer while maintaining all rights to the name Terraria and associated products.
For example. Traveler's Tales have been incredibly successful with their Lego games, but the name, the copyright and the License for Lego belongs to the Lego company.
Terraria belongs to Re-Logic, they simply paid someone else to create a Terraria product.
This failed to happen so there will have been a clause in the contract that states that if the product does not meet with approval then all payments will cease and the project will revert to Re-Logic to do with as they wish.
They can look into fixing it, they can hand it to a second external company to complete or if they feel it is beyond redemption, they can cut their losses and cancel it.
As for the amount of progress, that is academic. It is probably more related to the amount of time spent on the project compared to how little progress had been made and how the project failed to meet with Re-Logic's high standards.
When a company has such a strong fan-base on a project that is held in very high regard they do not wish to be associated with something that is below par and that will tarnish their reputation, regardless of the fact that it was someone else who developed it.
The lack of marketing is almost certainly due to the fact that the original developer had so little to show. No real progress, nothing that Re-Logic was proud to allow themselves to be associated with.
If T:OW does finally surface it will probably contain, little if any content from the original team and even if it does, they have been paid for their efforts and Re-Logic will not be obliged to make any further payments. They will have no claim to this title.
I think that the DD2 update, on Re-Logic's end, wasn't just a content update, but also a "testing grounds" scenario to see what kind of feedback they might get from it. I imagine that whatever feedback they have received in regards to the tower defense scenario will be used to help them improve any aspects of it in Otherworld if they still plan on using the mechanic. Besides, looking at footage from the GDC 2015 trailer, it doesn't look like the building restrictions are nearly as strict. True, it was pre-alpha, but the only reason there were building restrictions in the DD2 event was because monsters were spawning from portals, plus, it was an optional event. In the case of Otherworld, purifying the corruption is part of the role-playing aspect. And considering you are trying to purify randomly generated terrain, it only makes sense that such restrictions shouldn't exist, especially when you're trying to purify underground as well.I wonder if the Tower Defense concept will be modified or even scrapped? I'd say Dungeon Defenders crossover content was kinda weak in original Terraria (poorly animated pets, building restrictions in sandbox game), so making it a major thing in another sandbox game may not be a very good idea.
This thought made me even more concerned about T:OW fate - without new teasers and spoilers we don't have concrete things to expect. A lot of ideas, concepts and even visuals may have changed after Engine quit the project. Nothing we saw before is set in stone anymore.