CDProjektRed, the developers behind The Witcher series, claim they are looking at The Elder Scrolls: V carefully in order to polish the upcoming Witcher 3 sufficiently.
On top of that, CDProjektRed states that they are aiming to become even better than Bethesda...
In order to make that dream a reality, they are analysing what people are saying about Skyrim, a massive RPG which was claimed by many to be the best RPG in years. The Witcher 2 was released close to Skyrim, and on it's own also overwhelmed many fans and rpg-lovers. This being said, the expectations for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are already sky high.
Konrad Tomaszkiewicz of CDProjektRed calls many quests and characters in Skyrim generic, but also states that they will learn a lot from Bethesda. He explicitly spoke of the open-world features of Skyrim.
In an interview, Tomaszkiewicz said: "The lessons we have learned from Skyrim are that you should always be working on the depth of a game. You cannot show that you have created generic solutions in a game, which did show in Skyrim."
He also claims that The Witcher 2 was better in that aspect; "In Skyrim it is possible to do the same quest over and over a few times, whereas in The Witcher 2 NPC's reacted to your current situation, and can react differently based on the decisions you made."
CDProjektRed promises that The Witcher 3 will offer a lot more freedom than the Witcher 2 offered. As an example they talk about Geralt's horse, which was present in The Witcher books, but not in the game as the maps were not big enough to support travelling by horse. In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt however you will be able to travel on your horse, as there are bigger areas to explore, and travelling should take you a lot longer.
In the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, more focus will be put on the exploring-aspect of the game. As an addition they also promised quests will be less static, and you will be able to find them through exploration and events. To pull this off, they are taking inspiration from games such as Skyrim and Fallout, and mixing it with their own capabilities. Expect a bigger world and less on-rails-experience in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.