Spacebase, to me, was an experiment with a new business model in Double Fine's ever expanding search of ways of keeping afloat, which is what any good company should be doing instead of being complacent. They figured that the game would make X amount of dollars on Early Access, which would've successfully funded the game at their estimates. Then shit happened, as it always does in development. It probably wasn't a single thing that killed Spacebase, but a million cuts: higher than projected production costs, scope becoming too big, lower sales than expected from other games, lower sales in Early Access, misunderstanding of the extent of the game's completion within the consumer base leading to unfair negative buzz around the game (or, worse yet, no buzz), the wrong type of project to maintain interest on Early Access (which is clear now in our 20/20 hindsight), Broken Age taking up more of the company's resources than expected, etc. etc. etc.
If Spacebase had been developed in a traditional model, it would have just been a second game cancelled by Double Fine this year that no one got to see. It happens all the time.
I'm not saying people don't have the right to call them out for over-promising and under-performing, but I can understand 100% why Double Fine did everything they did with the project. it's unfortunate, but it happens.
Also on the "they should make a single project instead of multiple project" idea: Double Fine would be no more if they took that advice. Broken Age is already sucking more company resources than was expected. If they went all in on that game, for example, and it flopped, then they would be back where they were when Brutal Legend tanked.
Not putting all their eggs in one basket is how companies the size of Double Fine stay alive. Iron Galaxy, Capybara, Harmonix, TellTale, etc etc These once mid-size developers (or even AAA developers, in Harmonix's case) are surviving by making the most of their employees, by shifting them from team to team when each project is in different stages of production, by hitting a ton of different markets to see what sticks, by working with a wide variety of publishers on certain titles and developers as outsourcing work. This is the new face of the mid-size developer. You're never going to see Double Fine make a new Psychonauts or Harmonix make a new Rock Band unless some publisher gives them a massive budget that will cover the developer's ass if it doesn't sell well (for whatever reason).
Also, as an aside, Double Fine has been doing good work with their publishing side of their company. All the games they have been helping with have been fantastic and it's a great move to use their resource and fanbase to help much smaller indie devs (and themselves) find success. I don't know how much of a financial success it has been for them, but I think it's a great idea that will work out a lot better than Early Access for them.
A good question would be, why are they still taking money for Spacebase DF-9? I don't know in my eyes that's just stealing at this point, nowhere on Steam is it mentioned that it's put on hold (at least not on the first glance) and they are still having sales and what not. This all seems so wrong and sad it's beyond belief, it's like back in 90's people would be taking $20 bucks for shareware or demo version and never delivering the final product.
Also let's not cover our eyes, there's one or two man developer teams that deliver better, more polished games. It's time to size down for double fine if they can't sustain themselves and ride on peoples backs and their generosity for about 3 years now, or just disappear into obscurity, really, I wont shed tears, sad for the people who would need to look for jobs, but that's how the world works.
All that comes out of Tim are excuses over excuses.