Since we're all speculating here.
This feels like a safe move more than anything. I will echo others here and say that Patrick has the kind of talent that belongs in a more innovative venue than Kotaku. Maybe he should be starting his own thing, or write for a more "progressive" site? However, at the end of the day, he has to collect a paycheck. It's probably not the easiest thing in the world to find a place that checks all the boxes.
Good luck Patrick, I wish you all the best!