From: California, USA
I agree with Matrix Games(Erik Rutins) to wait til their release date of 11-24-09.
Generally, these days, PC games available in retail such as Gamestop, Walmart, and big electronics stores, have a greater potential to become a bigger success.
Many PC games available only online seem to have a greater potential to become less known. Many PC strategy games available only online at many websites would not sell to much of a degree in retail. There are occasionally some strategy games that may appeal to a larger customer base, such as Armada 2526, and thus a publisher is sometimes in a position where they are letting retail have the initiative in order to not burn bridges as Erik stated. If Armada 2526 succeeds in retail and Matrix Games and retail have a positive relationship then the future of Armada 2526(expansions and sequels) is more optimistic.
Any support from retail or elsewhere for many PC games will benifit the future for your favorite PC games.
Even though Gamestop might have made a decision to release early(maybe it was an internal Gamestop employee misunderstanding with various locations) it would be better if Matrix Games held their side of an agreement and come out honorable when all is said and done.
I'm in California. I've been checking the Gamestop website and I may call today to see if the game is available. If it is not in stores on Tuesday, the 24th, I will buy it from Matrix Games, or I may just do that anyway instead of going into Gamestop. I don't have a problem with Gamestop. Retail stores, and publishers, want to succeed and want their products to succeed.
Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture):Ships,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.