TLDR - 1. Most players not good enough to be affected by the issues people here complain about. 2. Release had to happen at some point, why not now? 3. The devs built a foundation that will be built on, that alone was worth the price. 4. Players here are better at the game than devs and more able to identify issues. 5. Posters' status as programmers leads to personal feelings about the work of devs, leads to excessively intense criticism. 6. Patches are free. 7. If not having fun, take a break. 8. I sympathize with those disappointed. 9. I want to see this community develop its own 4x game. (Even the TLDR section is TLDR ) I don't think anyone would disagree that the game is quirky, and that there are a number of issues to be resolved. But I think that the game is fun as it is, and I know that some of the issues will be resolved by Firaxis in patches, and that the community will try their best to build on the template that has been given. If you want to get philosophical, sure, I think there's an argument to be made that it is unfair to expect consumers to pay full price for a product that is known to have flaws or defects, and that to rush that product to market with those flaws is not ideal by any means. That's fair. That said, the average player isn't at a level where the game is "easy," like it is to so many players here. I think that it makes sense to release the game because it is functional for the average player who cannot identify exploits, will not read strategies on a forum like this, and plays in a casual way, which is to say with little knowledge of core mechanics and no grand strategy. The game IS functional, even if there are UI problems, and other issues. So I would submit that, for most players, yes, this appears as a "finished" game. There may be moments where the AI does things that makes even a novice scratch their heads, but I don't think most players view that so negatively. As for experienced players, well, many may be upset by the "final" product, but should know that patches are coming and failing that, mods are coming, too. To even have developed the basic foundation of this game is an achievement IMO, and the foundation itself is worth the money, IMO. But for anyone who feels otherwise, you know, I feel for you. It's a shame to be disappointed by something that you were looking forward to. I view this as just one point in the development of the final game. I knew I would have to buy the game at one point or another, so why not now? I would have paid to play it six months ago, too. Basically, for the core game, they're going to ask us to pay for it at three different points, and in between there will be incremental developments that come to us for free, and additional content that is optional that is not free. So why delay at all? I just wanted to start playing. If there were actual gamebreaking bugs, I would agree that release at that point would be premature. What we have here is a functional game that has UI, AI and balance issues. To call that not playable is not correct. If you want to say that those things mean this is a bad game, well, that's a judgment call. But all of the necessary elements of the game are present, so the game is not incomplete. It is playable. Now, with THAT said, this community is very, very good at this game. I'm not convinced by any means that the developers of the game are anywhere near as good at the game as the people here. I could play for a thousand hours, and not come up with some of the things that people here came up with in like one day. I think the same is true for them. I'm sure that they're reading all these threads and saying "how did we miss that?" So I agree there are definitely issues that need to be fixed. And the best thing to do probably would have been to hire some of the great players here and elsewhere as beta testers, because they could and would have identified these issues. So there is that. But again, AI is only an issue for top players. And most players aren't good enough to find exploits and will not read about them. I understand people are very passionate about this franchise, and believe me, I get why so many people thing Civ IV was the best. I do get the sense, though, that a lot of people here are programmers, and that perhaps among them there is a sense that this is shoddy work, and that they, in their own work, could not have been so sloppy without repercussions, and they wonder why the same isn't true for the programmers of this game. And so there is a personal element that leads to a greater intensity of criticism than is warranted, even if the criticisms themselves are valid. In the end, this is a game, it is supposed to be fun, and there is a certain fun I think in playing the game and finding these strategies and exploits and testing and pushing the game ... that IS the game. So, again, I sympathize with anyone who is disappointed in something they paid good money for. That's a shame. I expect that patches are coming and so are DLC, and expansions, and eventually, this will be the game we all hope it can be. But in the meantime, I would suggest that if the game isn't fun, then the best thing to do is to stop playing it, until it is patched. Why waste time playing a game that isn't fun? And I really don't mean that in a sarcastic or snarky way. Chalk it up to one of life's little disappointments and spend time doing something that is actually enjoyable. Hopefully, when the game is patched, it will fix some of the issues and then it will be fun again, and that's when it will be time to come back and resume play. Meanwhile, I would love to see this community come together and maybe start talking about our own project. Maybe we should start talking about the game WE want to see, and maybe start figuring out how to make THAT game. I know the modding community does great work. Maybe disappointment can lead to something greater? But that's a wildly unrelated thought.