Yeah, would not surprise me a bit. But I see why they started when they did.
The basic outline of the outcome of the Diodachi dispute was more or less in place by the start date. But really, it was an extremely unlikely outcome. And I think that all of European history is predicated upon that outcome. Start 30 years earlier and one of two things has to be – either you will usually see your game history play out utterly differently than actual history, or else they will have to introduce some very intrusive game mechanics to push the outcome to replicate actual history. Either would turn off a lot of players.