Not to nitpick, but it goes back to 42 as well - Road to Rome and Secret Weapons completely split our clan with probably a third staying vanilla, half getting RtR and the remainder getting Secret Weapons.
For me, the logical sweetspot would have been that everyone gets the maps, but if you want the countries or weapons, you need the dlc (for instance, if you want to play as the italians, you need Road to Rome, otherwise when you play as axis on RtR maps you’ll just be as the germans, and with the expansion you can play as italians on non RtR maps (like Stalingrad)). This way, your entire playerbase gets to play (and with weapon pick up, you even get to tease the different equipment to the non-buyers).
But ya, there’s a disconnect within management - i think it’s obvious this idea would still sell very well and keep your playerbase intact - it just would need someone to pitch it properly at the appropriate level. And as far as skins go, militaries are loaded with cool, thematic, skins you can sell - ww2 was rife with new services, and just about everyone wanted their own camo/uniforms to distinguish their own branch, or even unit. You’d probably want to tread carefully around the Waffen SS, but the SAS, fallschirmjäger, and just about everyone in the Italian army, had some cool/different camos you could totally monetize without venturing into pay to win territory.
And shit, that doesn’t even go into countries - you wanna play as Canada, ANZAC, Indian, Free French, Poland? That’s all great DLC in my view. Total spitballing here, but i’d roll out BF42 deux, as BF39 featuring just the british/poles and germans in maps around poland and scandinavia. Then next year add a 1940 expansion with maps(free to all) in france/low countries and countries to play as(pay for) like France and Italy. 1941 would be a big one, adding the soviet union and japan and a ton of new maps including africa, asia and of course, russia. I’d leave 1942 to drop the US forces and appropriate maps. And, of course, still have room for 3 more years of expansions (that’s when I’d all the other nations to help sell that DLC). Of course, that’s just me spitballin, but i think that sounds great…