I actually don't think so. They have the rights to the brand Sacred and its assets. But I wouldn't be so sure about the code itself. They could redo the map and everything from Sacred 2 though ... Again, I'm not that sure about this. Ice & Blood was done by Studio2. The patch was done by one or two former Studio2 employees. I don't know how they did it, but they did not have the server and tool infrastructure Studio2 had while developing the game. And how many hardcore players would that be? Not nearly enough to pay for the development ... "Failure" in a financial manner. Yes, it wasn't only because Sacred2 sold poor, it was mainly because it was just too expensive. That is your point of view and I can see what you mean. But that's not the only truth.
Evolve might have been a poor choice of words, but I still stand by what I meant: You can't redo just what you've done before. You have to take it further. Whatever that means is up to the producers and developers.
Whether you or the audience agree with them in the end is another story.
Again, this is your opinion. And I know it is shared by the majority of the old Sacred fans. But then again, how much of them are left? It's common knowledge that on the internet those with a negative opinion are the loudest which often leads to the impression of a majority against the thing in question. Whether this is really the case is hard to determine. But it might not be that easy just by looking at the internet.
I don't want to argue so much in favor of the Sacred 3 we've seen and read about although one could argue I'm playing the devil's advocate in this case.
Because introducing new franchises is always more dificult, expensive and risky. Sacred is at least a known name. Plus, it's still in Ancaria and so on ...
Doing what they want might be easy, getting to know what "they" want is not. Even figuring out who "they" are is a scientific field on its own.
Doing what the hardcore fans want might alienate the casual players and vice versa. If this was so easy, don't you think every developer with a right mind would do what "the players" want? But they don't. Because it's extremly hard to tell what is the right mix between getting old fans on board and open it up for everybody else.
The only way to do what the hardcore fans want is to develop a game that fits axactly in its niche ... and nowhere else. You don't make profit with those games if you're bigger than a little indie studio.
What fan base?
I was there when Sacred 2 was released, I knew the (german) fan base when Sacred2 was released. Most of the people active on the forums after the release were not those, who hung around for years before. Nope ... Those most active were those drawn to the forums by the new Sacred 2.
Yes, most likely there won't be much more of the old fans around. When they don't like the new game, they're going to search something new. But there will be new users and players.
If that new community will be bigger than the old one is something that might be argued about. And even I think it's going to be smaller ... for various reasons.
So again ... I didn't like what I saw in 2012. And I'd really like to see that changed to something more "sacred". But I also know it is not that easy. It's impossible to make everybody happy. You need to find the mix. We agree on Sacred 3 not beeing the right mix. So, please, don't take this post too personal or anything. I just want to put things in perspective from my point of view which might be a little more moderate than that from a hardcore fan. (which does not mean I'm not a fan, I played Sacred1 1.0 ... I'm just used to balance my opinion and the knowledge about the stuff.)