THE WITCHER Author Laments The Rash Deal He Made With CD Projekt RED
The way Andrzej Sapkowski has spoken about his deal with CD Projekt RED concerning video game rights to his Witcher fantasy series, you would think he wasn't paid a dime. However, that's not the case at all. It seems Sapkowski was offered a profit-sharing deal from Projekt RED but balked at the offer, insisting on getting a large sum upfront.
Did you know that the popular action role-playing video game The Witcher is actually based on a fantasy, novel series that is written by Poland's equivalent of George R.R. Martin, Andrzej Sapkowski?
The reason behind this decision according to the Polish author was that he had no faith in the upstart studio (at the time of the deal, CD Projekt RED was just a fledgling studio with no actual releases under its belt). Of course, following the release of the first Witcher game for PC back in 2007, the series has gone on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide, with the latest installment, 2015's The Witcher 3, accounting for over half that figure.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Sapkowski revealed that he deeply regrets his hasty decision-making.
"I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch. They offered me a percentage of their profits. I said, ‘No, there will be no profit at all - give me all my money right now! The whole amount.’ It was stupid. I was stupid enough to leave everything in their hands because I didn’t believe in their success. But who could foresee their success? I couldn’t."
It's gotten so bad for Sapkowski that outside of Poland, most people he meets assume that he's written a novelizations of the video game and not the other way around. Whenever such a misunderstanding occurs it apparently makes the fiery Polish author quite angry. "It happened. It happened. I can remember my reaction: I know many bad words and I used all of them, in many languages."
On one hand, it's easy to sympathize with Sapkowski as he's had to watch his creation achieve worldwide renown while receiving virtually no credit. Imagine if George R.R. Martin had made such a deal with HBO for Game of Thrones, or if Robert Kirkman had made a similar agreement with AMC on The Walking Dead? They would have received tens of thousands instead of the tens of MILLIONS they're earning on a yearly basis. Still, it sounds like even Sapkowski realizes that he has no one to blame but himself.
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