Last week numerous sources reported that Skyrim, the latest title in the Elder scrolls series, does not only contain the landmass for the eponymous province it is set it, but also those of previous titles such as Morrowind, Cyrodil, and Hammerfell. Since the player is normally not able to reach any of these areas, there has since been much speculation as to why Bethesda included these models.
Some have noted, that this was done so that no matter where the player was, he would always be able to see land in the distance, and not just empty space. Without giving away any spoilers, there are some daedric quests during the course of which the player is elevated to great heights. So I suppose, it is possible that by setting the view distance to maximum, a player could see beyond the mountain ranges that limit in-game movement beyond Skyrim.
I personally am pretty excited about the idea of either Mods or DLC that would let you explore these closed off parts of Tamriel, the Pangaea-like landmass the series is set in. Especially, considering that according to Elder Scrolls lore Skyrim itself is set to be about 200 years after the events depicted in Oblivion and Morrowind. In the meantime, a lot of things are said to have changed. For one, the eruption of the red mountain would have vastly changed the appearance of Vvardenfell, making it a very different place. Also, there appears to have been some major conflicts between the Aldmeri Dominion and the province of Hammerfell, which I would love to get involved in with my player character.
Let’s hope Bethesda gets around releasing a world editor soon, so that we can get started on expanding the world beyond Skyrim.