I don't think 7 Days to Die is intended to be in the category of eternal project of love like some other games.
I think it is intended to have its design and implementation be complete at some point, so the devs can then move on to other things (expansions, DLCs, sequels, other games entirely, etc.)
As such, perhaps we are simply getting close to the end of the alpha cycle. That is typically when the framework of all systems is implemented and functioning in at least some basic way. Filling it out is usually beta. Though these days, the dev lines kind of get blurred, so I wouldn't rely on the old definitions.