@INovaeKeith I just want to give a reality check as I feel that the mostly positive reviews of Infinity: Battlescape have blinded you, which is why you believe that a sudden bump in popularity is possible once I:B reaches v1.0. The number of reviews pale in comparison to this…
While Space Engine has no gameplay to call it a game, it is written in a custom C++ game engine and OpenGL by just one developer, Vladimir.
I guess you could say these projects are not comparable as Infinity: Battlescape is combat focused. Then again Vladimir also wanted to do a full on MMO though instead shortened his scope to a single player exploration simulator and was way more successful with it.
The only thing I can say is that there is a market for the exploration part of Infinity: Battlescape. And it is done mostly alone even in a multiplayer game. IMHO upclose, the planets in Battlescape are much better looking than Space Engine, even if @KotinrolL would disagree as he complained about ice of Battlescape. Even prettier than those planets and moons whose textures are obtained from real space photography.