Even so from a biz POV it would have saved them maybe $100k in development time at least just making that wretched ActiveX plugin working. And it'd work on Mac and Linux which they have a soft spot for. Just plain daft! You should have paid them to use it!
hmm I initially thought you meant they should have ported the C Quake 3 engine to Java (which wouldn't make much sense), but now I see why it could have made sense to use the java plugin (and probably still does for the Mac and Linux ports).
All they'd have to do was launch the c version of Quake 3, grab its window handle and stick it on the applet.
They'd have to make java plugin 2 a requirement though if they'd want any form of stability.
looking at the horrid state of applets when they started the project, i don't blame them for going the custom plugin way.