Sure, I don’t think people would suddenly not buy the next IL2 installment(s) because they didn’t move on to the PTO.
That being said, 1C has a business to run and have to make money. 1C has stated they really want the PTO just as much as the overwhelming majority of their player base. That’s were they’re going to make huge chunk of their profits the quickest.
Outside of a small group of players, nobody really wants to fly Italian and French aircraft, most of which were terribly outclassed and outmatched by the Luftwaffe, Etc. I’d imagine that’d be an area / campaign to cover down the road when 1C actually develop some medium / heavy bombers.. No point in flying the Italian Campaign if the only aircraft type available are outdated Italian/ French fighters and early model Luftwaffe aircraft. If that’s the case, there’s really no point in IL2 moving away from the current theatre.
Nothing against those aircraft, but that’d be a huge gamble financially. It would take a long time to recover development costs and make a profit because you’re not going to have the overwhelming majority of players pre-ordering or buying the game initially after release.
Best move is bringing in a few more aircraft types, (Hurricane, Yak-9’s, etc) to hold people over while they’re developing the PTO.
The great thing about IL2 is it’s not a study level sim like DCS. You don’t have to be 100% on every aspect and detail of Japanese aircraft. They can nail the exterior designs of these aircraft and get pretty close with the flight models, interiors, etc, etc. They’ll make it work just like they have already done on the Eastern Front. It will never be 100% perfect, we all know that’s not possible with these kind of games.. But, it’ll be close enough and will only get better with every update.
Whatever comes next, I’m sure it will be in a direction that allows 1C to push hard into the PTO (Carriers, Carrier-Ops, ships, Naval Logistics & warfare, etc, etc).
1C really wants the PTO and I’m positive they’re taking the necessary steps to make this a reality.