Everybody wants to be as big as Activision, but only a few can, and most fail ... period. There's a lot to be said for catering to a niche and thriving (in a smaller but still profitable way) for many years.
Or hey. Maybe they just wanted to release a full-fledged game on the open market, a true "mainstream" game (and I mean that in the recognition sense, not the game play sense.)
They made the (very arrogant IMO) mistake of calling out BF3 and CoD as franchises. They did what devs with big dreams do, and they get too in love with their own product, it rubs on off on the fan base, and then EVERYONE has a rude awakening come release day.