I am among the people who haven't touched this game in almost 10 years and came back after hearing about the engine upgrade.
And stuck around since I saw the admirable devotion and passion LO has for this game. One of the most beautiful comeback stories I have witnessed in over 30 years of gaming.
Whether or not the engine actually needs an overhaul is not as relevant as the implications this project sends.
If a 10 years old game gets a massive engine upgrade, it tells players all of these things:
we care about this game
we take this seriously
it's not just a quick cash grab
we have a lot of future plans for this game
it's worth investing your time into this game because we will support and expand on it
Because why else would a company undertake such a massive project for a 10 years old game.
And that's what brings back players and gives them confidence in investing their precious life time into this game.