You've gotta hope space isn't the final frontier or we're going to run badly out of places to set games once the current crop are released. Galactic Civilisations III took to Early Access in March in alpha and has now progressed to the beta stage. Along with a star cruiser's worth of changes and additions, this means it's come down to a more reasonable price. Space-joy all round. Stardock have put out a surprisingly funny new trailer to celebrate the chunky new patch notes.
More than anything else, I'm really looking forward to what people manage to do with that ship builder. The recreations will be amazing, but the original ship designs might be even more incredible, depending on how powerful the tool is. This one's a bit of a step above if it allows actual animation, given most creation tools only make static objects.
The full patch notes are over here while the announcement of the beta itself has just the highlights. It looks like there's been a total rebalance along with the introduction of new resources, tech trees and units. I hadn't yet jumped in but with the game becoming more fully featured and the price drop to an affordable £26.99 it'll be difficult to resist much longer.
The full game's scheduled for April 2015, with a rider to say plans can (and likely will) change. Stardock do livestreams on Twitch every Friday, starting at 9pm Brit-time, showing off the latest changes and what they're working on.