Just like in any other hobby or endeavor, if you get a reputation for delivering a less-than-quality product, that can stick with a company for a long time. If we look at Mongoose Publishing--one of the few relatively large, multi-line RPG publishers remaining--I am reminded of that fact.
Now, that's not to say that everything Mongoose ever did was crap; far from it! But, let's face it, Mongoose had its share of missteps. There was an edition of the Conan RPG that needed as much errata as Traveller 4th edition. There was the first edition of Mongoose RuneQuest, which managed to be disliked by old RuneQuest fans and garner mixed reviews at best from prospective new ones. You had a line of d20 product of varying quality (actually, what publishing involved in d20 in the last decade didn't?). There were some binding issues, and editing always seemed to be a shortcoming for Mongoose products, no matter how interesting they might otherwise have seemed.
Now, it sounds like I'm just slagging the beejeezus out of Mongoose Publishing, but that's not the case. In fact, I've been greatly surprised and pleased at the quality of content coming out of Mongoose recently. It started a while back with Dragon Warriors (via their Flaming Cobra line) and Traveller, two venerated RPGs named that I know had people praying "don't mess this up, please don't mess this up". Well, by all accounts, they didn't. Dragon Warriors has met with a warm critical reception, and Traveller is doing very well by all accounts. I even hear good things about the latest Earthdawn, which is done between Mongoose and Redbrick Ltd.
The most recent entry on the playing field for Mongoose is Mongoose RuneQuest II. I got to browse this last week, and let me tell you, Mongoose has really stepped it up here. They cleaned out a lot of the confusing rules, simplified skills and magic, and really made this a tight game again. I'm hearing positive feedback not only from long-time RQ fans, but from the newer ones as well!
If you're going to have properties like RuneQuest and Traveller, to my mind you have to hit it out of the park, period. There's no better way to alienate fans and incur nerdrage than to slap a beloved legacy name on an inferior or sub-par product. It looks like Mongoose is producing right now at a level worthy of those honorable RPG legacies.
That's not to say there still isn't some work to go in the editing department, but by and large, I think Mongoose is looking much better than ever before. Have they turned it around? I think they're on the right track, yes. Time will tell if the momentum and quality continue, but for now, cheers, Mongoose. You done good.