They were on the way to being big, but were not anywhere near their position now.
They were doing pretty damned well at trade shows during 2001, when some of the ex-Hybrid guys cornered me to show off their DPVS system (that had recently been swallowed by RW).
A year past GTA III coming out and nearly all new projects were considering Renderware during prototyping.
My understanding was that that had more to do with the timing of the re-explosion of the console market - when Sega died, and Microsoft were barely a drop in the ocean, and PS2 hadn't hit it's prime, the demand for cross-platform 3d engines was not so great. Certainly, by 2001 RW already had more than one hundred of the biggest names in the games industry as licensees - I know because we talked to them about selling Grex Games to them, and so we did our research on who their customers were back then.
However - I have to stand in the middle on this debate. A great game only works as the final piece in the puzzle. With maybe 1 in 100 games making it really big, your gonna have to get up to 100 games into the market to achieve this - and thats the task of marketing & raising awareness.
Yeah, irrespective of my pedantic quibbling over CS/RW
, that's my point: that it's not merely about writing a great game. Much, much more is needed.
FYI: Criterion DO write games: Airblade to name but one.
I stand corrected.