There were very good and very bad things in the first couple years of Extreme. I think Rob had some really cool ideas, but never took the time to develop many of them. Bloodstrike, for example. It was like the Suicide Squad, but never really developed into anything before it was replaced by a singular character called Bloodstrike. I didn't mind the change so much, but it just never seemed that either concept got a firm footing.
Brigade started off as just another team. I have to say this was the least focused of Rob's ideas. This went through major team changes and also never had a stable run.
This seemed to happen a lot in the Extreme Universe. It seems as if Rob liked an idea and would launch a book, but then decide to change it 6 months down the line. While it did create excitement, a lot of the surprises seemed to be surprises just for the sake of having them. It started to get wearisome after a while.
Yeah the Bloodstrike changeover happened as a result of Extreme Sacrifice. It really pissed me off and is representative of why I quit collecting comic books back then (at the time, I was collecting pretty much exclusively Extreme Studios books). Great concepts, little to no followthrough, and then characters would get wiped out with little fanfare. I started to feel really cheated, because the first couple years, it felt like everything was interconnected and that Rob and the guys had really elaborate plans for the future. But when everything was constantly getting "revamped", it became clear there really was no plan and they were just throwing shit at the wall.
Not to mention there never seemed to be any good runs on the books. An awesome artist would do a book for 4-5 issues at most, and then get replaced with somebody else, usually inferior. That's probably not entirely true, but that's the way it seemed to me.
I really feel like if Rob had just kept some consistency in his core titles and also not dumped out a bunch of miniseries and spin offs and new books, that he would have easily survived the market crash and would still be succesful today.