The scope and scale of the Euro Truck Simulator 2 world is the result of a combination of priorities and compromises.
After we finished ETS1, there was a huge wave of feedback asking for "more local roads" - this feedback was really so loud and frequent that we decided to do something about it. There was no chance to squeeze in enough proper non-highway-type roads into a map with the ETS1 scale, we had to go for a more detailed map. We knew we would still be skipping large percentage of highways even with a larger scale map, there is no way would reproduce the real world in anything close to 1:1 scale (not to speak about the implications for gameplay with cargoes taking real days, not minutes, to deliver), but we felt lot more detail was needed.
The scale we decided upon in the end was the scale used in German Truck Simulator and UK Truck simulator "sister" projects. We had built those games to be the starting point for further growth, and this is indeed what the ETS2 world expands upon. Basically we traded detail for coverage. Once you start at a given detail, you can push coverage - the extent of the virtual world - over time, for as long as you can last. But if you start with small scale, there is a hard limit on how much detail can be hammered in. So the trajectory we are following is
what was already started some 4 years ago.
At this time, there is over 30 man-years invested into the ETS2 map, counting the map construction itself and building of models and prefabs for the world. We have added new territories of course and added additional polish and
roads to the existing areas, but it's a laborious incremental process. The map is a huge investment of time and money, really major risk for us. We have poured in everything we have ever earned from the earlier games.
Of course, now that we have better road coverage, there is huge pressure from you to add complete territory of Europe, and soon. Unfortunately, even though we would love to have all of Europe covered, this is going to take a lot more work and time to achieve. You can view ETS2 as a milestone towards this goal - we hope that the game's sales will help us finance further evolution of the Euro Truck concept and the world in which it is taking place.