But the thing is they allowed SF 4 to happen, despite SF being in the same boat. They pressured Ono to make something more profitable. What happened when SF4 finally hit the shelves? an explosion of sales.
Also, Capcom had stated that the prototype sales would determine the greenlight. So they could have been far more smart with this, since they essentially wasted money on the development and fan interaction, and didnt even bother collecting on the 2$ price tag. They easily could have released the prototype, collected some dough from it's cost, and then cancelled the project, citing a lack of sales. Instead, they just cut it off without even delivering the promised sales determining product.