A few days after The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released, a PC player, who obviously takes exploration very seriously, travelled to the farthest corners of the Skyrim map and discovered that you can actually see the landmasses from previous Elder Scrolls games. It required a bit console command tinkering to be able to get to them, but Morrowind and Cyrodiil are neighbouring provinces to Skyrim that are actually in the game – albeit in very limited detail.
Naturally this sparked a ton of speculation, with many people praying that this meant Bethesda would be adding the provinces in future expansion packs. Throughout the days of conjecture, Bethesda remained quiet, but their silence has now ended.
Speaking to Kotaku at the recent DICE summit, Bethesda’s Todd Howard explained why they added neighbouring provinces that you cannot even get to.
“The reason they are there – and I will not say if we are or are not using them in the future – is when we first built the landmass for Skyrim we knew we were going to have these tall mountains.
And what can you see? We have views early in the project where you can see into the [neighbouring] province from the other game. We needed to have something [there].
It’s not high detail. If you walk there, from a distance it’s…yeah, the stuff is there. And the thinking is, maybe we’ll use it one day, but our larger worry was: I’m going to climb up on top of a mountain and look that way. What will I be able to see there? We try to cover all those angles as much as we can.”
The neighbouring provinces of Morrowind and Cyrodiil are there because the game’s lore requires them to be there. This also goes to show how dedicated Bethesda was to the tiny (or in this case pretty big seeing as they are entire landmasses) details. What really is intriguing is the “I will not say if we are or are not using them in the future” bit.