I see people playing Stellaris.
I see people playing Endless Space 2.
I even see people throwing $$$ at the never ending GalCiv 3 DLC's
.... But i don't know anybody who bought (or even talks about) this game.
You can't really compare it to those games. At the core, it's a freelancer type game where you control a single ship directly, shifting energy around between guns, engines and shields, pop consumables, shoot other ships for loot and profit, and earn money by doing random missions.
The strategy layer is an addition to that, a rather rudimentary element where you build fleets and move them around the map, intercepting other fleets or turning them into wingmen. There's resources you need for research and for building new ships, but it's not as deep as a "proper" 4x game.
At the same time: it works. It's spaceship eurojank at its finest, clunky around some parts, rough around some edges, but you basically get a 4x/Freelancer hybrid that doesn't bog down in minutiae, has somewhat satisfying direct combat and lots and lots of ships to fly. There's no other game that really compares to it. Some like SPAZ 2 have some similarities, but Warlords is rather in unique in what it does.
I'd probably sell my firstborn for a highly polished AA-version of the game concept, but so far decent space games (finished ones, that is) remain few and far between, so I take what I can get. This one was fun for a good while, but I admit it's a bit of an aquired taste.