Firstly im not trying to be an A-hole but im just expressing my opinion.
Why did a game like psabr fail? simple. Advertising and the fact that NO third party had any hope for superbot therefor not trusting superbot to use their characters(which is a big shame). Square Enix, Activision, Kojiima did not trust superbot. I really wish they did give a chance for PSABR becuz really that's the only thing that needed improvement, the roster. The gameplay was great, stages very cool and the story was decent for a fighting game! If they were givin the chance to get characters like Cloud, Crash, Spyro, and snake PSABR would have been such a better game in general! I dont think it was fair that sony abandoned superbot either...like **bleep** sony...it's your fault for the **bleep** advertisement and help! Why make a company to make a specific game and not back them up?! **bleep** sony....I rlli feel bad for the superbot team for losing many of their designers etc.
I wouldn't have trusted them either, look at how many glitches and bugs are in there game..
It's not really the amount of bugs. It's the fact that no one who has any control over fixing them even acknowledges them - thus day 1 bugs are still there even after like 6 updates.
With the bugs and downright broken characters (Sly, Kat) it's hard for me to even recommend this game to a friend. I've never played a Sony IP with these many glitches this long after launch, certainly not one which SSM was involved with.
It's also the fact that in this day and age of gamers, if something closely resembles something popular. They will call it a rip-off and want nothing to do with it.
The hate bandwagon went around hard for this game and still does now. The bandwagon of people might not be as big if they did have bigger name characters like the ones fans wanted, but sadly like you said, the bigger companies didnt want to take a risk.
So in a way, it kind of is the bigger name companies fault that the game didnt do so well because the roster wasnt big and bold enough to draw people in.