Last year, intrepid tinkerers on the PC version of Elder Scrolls V found the game didn't just include the landmass of Skyrim. You could also, with a little work, visit other parts of Tamriel, like Morrowind and Cyrodiil, the settings of Elder Scrolls III & IV respectively.
It was...a little odd. So we asked the developers what was up.
Bethesda's Todd Howard tells us "the story is they are there".
Speaking with Kotaku at DICE last week, Howard says "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 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."
Mostly makes sense, as that's what was expected at the time. But the bit about "maybe we'll use it one day" is interesting. Unless he means one day modders will use it.