The games industry has been, and always will be, iterative. Every game, regardless of your opinion of it, has been heavily influenced by past games because major developers need to produce quality titles if they want the public to fund their endeavors and continue making games. The real issue is that Bioware is held to such a pretentiously high pedigree (disregarding their multiple and blatant forays into camp territory) that the idea of emulating a similarly huge role playing game company like Bethesda is seen as an insult to some fans.
The thing is this isn't, say, Witcher showing a similar take to Bioware that should be paid attention to, this is of a very different breed of RPG, more like the difference between Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest and Zelda. You'd get some backlash to the former (though the series is malleable enough that you might be able to get away with something on a lighter level), and the latter would be VERY severe if DQIX's any indication. Granted, a huge part of the problem here is we don't even really know what "inpsiration" means here: are they making it open world, and if so to what degree? Full blown action RPG (I am expecting that)? There's always something you could take from another, completely unrelated game and integrate into your series without fundamentally altering it, you could easily put Zelda-esque tools in an FF to make it a bit more interesting rather than making it a Zelda clone for example.
The truth of the matter is that Bethesda has been equally fastidious in their lore and story development, but the size and scope of their worlds doesn't afford them enough time or resources to create the addictive branching social interactions that Bioware is famous for. They're still crafting innovative, original, lore-steeped worlds and their power to immerse players in a high fantasy setting is practically unmatched. While I'm completely against Bioware's attempt to emulate a Bethesda title, to pretend that Bethesda employs less effort in their individual environments and setting comes across as a misinformed allegation. The locations, characters, and pantheons of gods you discover in the ES series all have a history and reason for existing. They aren't as random as some would have you believe.
That's not really what I and I presume Stephen meant: more like every dungeon comes off a remix of another (especially in Oblivion), and that Skyrim literally introduced randomly generated quests where you either got told to do some errand or had a guy drop something on you then run off (and to further add to the randomness there, I actually had a dragon attack happen just after that happened once). Granted, I did mention I thought Bioware did better quests, but that's not the same as saying the actual designed quests came off as random.
EDIT: Although on second thought, it really might be preferable for FF to go heavily Zelda inspired. FF's taking its notes from Half Life, Call of Duty, and Uncharted, and not only is that actually a more extreme version of what people are fearing here but their design MO is in direct contrast with what I find appealing about RPGs. Of course, these guys really want to play up the cinematic angle, though it does seem like it may've collapsed on itself after XIII.