Distant Worlds is a story engine, much like Crusader Kings II and Fallen Enchantress. These games are really engines that inspire some very intricate stories in the player's head. That's what fascinates me with these kinds of games and pulls me in.
In our days, games are getting more and more technologically impressive and more and more development time is spent on creating flashy graphics, voice acting and other cool outer features. The big developers cut away on their games' soul and intelligence in favour of the good looks serving the story on a silver plate.
Skyrim and the Elder Scrolls is a great example; the intelligence and inspiration of Daggerfall and Morrowind had to give way for professional, Hollywood-star voice acting, the cool and invaluable beheading perk with killcams and the impressive views with dragons circling above. What they ended up with in Skyrim is actually a game that is so dumbed-down that it isn't even worthy of standing in the shadow of Morrowind when it comes to story and intelligence. Note that I love Skyrim, just as I love Distant Worlds, because I think there's a place in the world for both types of games.
There will always be a good market for the intelligent story engine, like Distant Worlds, though. In fact, very large groups of players are yelling out for them. I encourage the developers of these kinds of story enginge games to continue on their path and create even more "story features" for their games.