Yeah, sometimes things are ahead of their time and not appreciated until after the fact.
Atari was partly to blame for lack of success, though, as they didn't seem to be too committed to the game in terms of marketing. I remember when they had put out the expansion pack for it. It was digital-only, but they had released it in Europe only, and committed players could navigate the foreign language site and buy it in Euros. Other than that, there was nary a mention that there was even one out there. Only reason I know is that I stumbled upon it on the official forums.