Outbreak was good. It just wasn't great.
Conceptually, the idea was ahead of its time. Small, episodic adventures with more of a whiff of the movies about them, driven by a loose story of survival. It was very Resident Evil, very of its time, the only problem is the first game wasn't universally online everywhere, and the second game was so cheesy and cliche that it felt less Lost Episodes and more "Stages we cut because you would have shouted at us". It was laggy. It was restrictive in comms. Dare I say it, with Resident Evil 4 out when File 2 was doing the rounds, it was competing with a much better installment of the same franchise. Which, in business terms, was a daft decision.
Outbreak still has ideas and concepts that most wouldn't dare try today. Having to defend someone pushing a car, for example, was a good idea. And hell, the zombie zoo of File 2 WAS something to be noted, and enjoyed (if only because of the zombie elephant!). But it was conceptually killed before it had even had a chance to bloom.
By that I mean, the story was finished in the first game. The whole concept of Outbreak was of a bunch of rag-tag survivors trying to escape the zombie apocalypse, by escaping the city (and therefore that big bad nuke that makes every happy zombie go boom). There was no smart design decision to really take it anywhere, no overarching design ethos. It was a throwaway idea that became more throwaway in File 2, when they took the idea of Lost Episodes to a length that perhaps should have been left alone.
My point is this; whilst a good game (and File 2 was average, but okay), Capcom didn't really view this variation as anything more than a creative dead-end. There was no intention to really make it better - if it was released now, I'd say we'd be in a different place, what with patching and continued support and the ease of networks, but it'd still only stop after File 2. There's no-where to take it, the story is done and over.
I love that fans want to keep it alive. But I fear that because we're all now so used to regular patching, stable networks and less lag (and I still believe a lot of the slowdown and lag in the Outbreak games was from shoddy programming!), keeping it alive without the ability to actually change the product is a wasted effort.
It was of a time. I do agree fans should be given a chance to keep it going - but unless fans can actually fix the bugs that were in the games, it's doomed to repeating the same mistakes, over and over and over.
Again, Outbreak was good. It just wasn't great. And that is always a problem...
Master of Tekisuto No Kabe. *bows*
And you're reading this why?!