The Witcher series of games has to go down as one of the greatest video game adaptations, with the games gaining greater popularity than even the works of series author Andrzej Sapkowski. However, Sapkowski himself apparently does not see the same level of financial success as developer CD Projekt Red, as he does not make any money from the popularity of the The Witcher games themselves. As it turns out, the author accepted a one-off payment for the rights, instead of a deal that offered a percentage of the profits.
This was revealed by Sapkowski in an interview with Eurogamer, where he explained the situation. “They brought a big bag of money!” said Sapkowski in the interview, and this sum was the reason why he was happy to sell off the rights to the world of The Witcher to CD Projekt Red. “What I expect from an adaptation: a big bag of money. That is all.”
However, Sapkowski was not expecting the level of success that The Witcher, and its subsequent sequels, was going to receive. “I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch,” said Sapkowski. “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.”
Of course, The Witcher games would go on to be a tremendous success, turning Sapkowki’s fantasy world with a cult following into one of the most revered intellectual properties in video games. In particular, The Witcher 3 has drawn huge acclaim, both in terms of critical and commercial success, with the title earning multiple Game of the Year award wins. However, it would have been very hard to see this level of popularity so far down the line.
For now, though, CD Projekt Red is turning its attention away from The Witcher, and onto something altogether different. The developer is now creating Cyberpunk 2077, and is once again aiming big with the project, with the studio aiming to make another immersion leap akin to The Witcher 3. Should the game reach the same quality as The Witcher games, then fans will certainly be in for a fantastic experience all round.