It was sometime in between the Voodoo/Voodoo2 period that Greg Ballard came onto the scene as CEO. He was there for marketing, and he was good at it, though there was something missing when it came to technology. He pushed a variety of 3dfx marketing campaigns that helped bring 3dfx to the top. Problems apparently came from his lack of understanding how the graphics industry functioned. Ballard desired to deliver a single chip 2D/3D solution as the competition had thus far done the same.
This would allow 3dfx to enter the mainstream and OEM markets, increasing revenue. It would also renew trust in 3dfx as their ill-fated Voodoo Rush (a multi-chip 2D/3D solution with a separate vendor's 2D core) had created doubters. With limited engineering resources at the time, the only option for this to occur was to remove staff from another project and dedicate them to this. Thus Rampage lost vital engineering resources and Banshee was created.
With the release of Voodoo Banshee, 3dfx was able to offer a solid 2D/3D solution. Unfortunately, all was not pleasant in the land of 3dfx. Having removed the second texture unit on Banshee's pixel pipeline, multi-texturing performance was below that of a single Voodoo2 solution.
Additionally, NVIDIA for the first time had become a real competitor with their TNT graphics core. NVIDIA's TNT offered similar performance to that of Banshee (in some cases slower, in others faster). Several additional features were built within TNT that were not included in Banshee, such as 32-bit color and textures, as well as high-resolution textures. This made it a somewhat more appealing solution for consumers and developers. 3dfx thus began losing market share and developer confidence.
With all this having taken place and Banshee already having consumed much of Rampage's resources, 3dfx was forced to take Rampage back to the drawing board. It was no longer the high-end board they had hoped. The anticipated market leading performance and feature set no longer existed as NVIDIA had gained considerable ground and the part was simply taking too long to deliver. Thus, with Rampage substantially delayed another stopgap product would be required, this one in the form of Avenger.