That Skyrimajigger, huh? Who'd have thought it'd ever catch on, what with all its burly men, dragons, viking imagery, and infinitely memeable sights and sounds? In an industry that prizes quiet, civil ruminations on modern issues and abhors such savage flights of fancy, the very notion was ludicrous from the get-go. And yet, somehow, for some reason, people ended up thinking it was OK. So Bethesda stuck around and churned out buttery dollops of DLC, even though it desperately wanted to move on to its next speculative installation about a world in which nuclear bombs were never used nor created, and you explore places like Washing D.C. while constantly remarking how normally proportioned all the roaches are. Now, however, Bethesda feels its next big thing demands every last bit of energy it can muster, so Skyrim's a done deal. Next up, something completely unknown and shrouded in mystery but no seriously it's probably Fallout 4.
The reigning heavyweight champion of open-world RPGs explained its decision in a blog post:
"Skyrim has been a labor of love for us since we started designing it in 2006. We never imagined it would become the phenomenon it has. And that is because of you, the fans. It was all of you who made it a success. We can’t thank you enough for embracing the game, spreading the word, and making it your own."
"For the last year and a half we’ve been working on new content for Skyrim; from the game updates, Creation Kit, Steam Workshop, Kinect support, to DLCs. Parts of our team have also been in pre-production on our next major project, and that game is at the point where it requires the studio’s full attention to make it our biggest and best work yet."
That said, Bethesda does plan to continue monitoring its role-playing phenom, applying patches and small fixes as needed. Which sounds about right, especially given that it's leaving Skyrim capably (though not unprecedentedly) updated and expanded. Yeah, it still has some glitches, and it's a shame we never got to explore all of Tamriel, but what we got certainly beats the tin haunches off Horse Armor. And hey, modders exist. So maybe someday...
As for the "next adventure" in question, yes, it's probably Fallout. And, if so, consider me ecstatic, even if a large part of me wishes Obsidian was calling the shots again. I can't complain too much, though - at least, so long as Fallout doesn't get hit by Skyrim's bland-ification beam.
I suppose, too, that it always could actually be something entirely new. I doubt it, but crazier things have happened. For example, that one time when [database error: file not found].