I am one of the people that think that the addition of US civilization was a major success and a very positive addition to this game. When I first heard they were being released I thought it was just going to be a lazy cash grab utilizing recycled models, animations, voice overs, technologies, and concepts from the campaign or scenario editor, but upon seeing them for the first time during the fan preview and playing them myself, I have to admit I was VERY wrong, and they are now my favorite civ. The devs did AMAZING work here.
Given what I have been reading here and on Reddit, a lot of people don’t agree with this sentiment, but I think we can all come to a compromise. Personally, I think that the main issue with the addition of the US is in the name itself. Most civilizations are named after their common demonyms (i.e.- British, Spanish, Russian) as opposed to the official name of their nation state (i.e.- British Empire, Spanish Empire, Russian Empire, etc.) The US should be renamed “Americans” to keep in accordance with this trend. And speaking of which, with this logic in mind, the Ottomans should also be renamed the Turks.
Now, as for the timeline issue, I do have to admit that the Americans as a civilization came significantly later than the game’s other civilizations, but they are so historically and culturally relevant (esp. during this time period) that not including them could be seen as a waste of potential for this game. The War of 1812, the Revolutionary War, the Mexican-American War, etc. all took place during the time period of AOEIII so just pretending the US doesn’t exist is a bit awkward. Plus, the civilization is designed extremely well (actually too well because the other civilizations are now comparatively boring). Admittedly as well, I do find it awkward that the US is both a revolutionary and a major civ in this game now.
The final thing I will say is that yes, I would have preferred if the devs had first focused on other civs that people wanted (Italian, Poles, Persians, etc.), but right now I am very happy with what we got. I think we just need to accept this new civ (the other age titles have their own controversial additions, although perhaps the devs should really be looking into renaming them so they aren’t named after their nation state.