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Andrzej Sapkowski sold the rights to CDPR's Witcher 1 for $9500

Mass_Pincup

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Feb 25, 2014
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There is a difference between one book being released and all of them. The UK release of Blood of Elves didn't make many waves and it wasn't guaranteed we would get the follow-ups. I would guess they skipped Sword of Destiny initially because the sales of a short-story anthology were seen as lackluster and they hoped that publishing the first novel would boost sales a bit.

But we didn't see another book translated for 4 years after that.

Couple of other items:

The original Orbit (UK) release stated on the back "The International Hit that Inspired the video game The Witcher" so I wouldn't be too sure that the game didn't play a role.

-The Last Wish actually became a New York Times Bestseller....in June 2015, less than a month after The Witcher 3's release. That, all by itself, disproves what Sapkowski states.
But he said all the books were available in English, which is indeed a lie.

I think the English translation continued almost exclusively thanks to the games' success, otherwise I can't see why they waited so many years before publishing the sequel to Blood of Elves.
Are you referring to another quote?

Because in that quote from Triggerhappytel he didn't say that all the book were released before the first Witcher games, he said all the translations, as in every language were the book was brought in was before The Witcher released.

Also I don't see how an editor would put this tagline months before the game was released, not to mention that CDPR was unknown at the time outside of Poland. But I don't live in the UK so I can't verify that.
 

DemWalls

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Jun 3, 2016
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He says "all of my translations in the west"... that not include all books but only the translated in the west in 2007 lol
True, I misremembered. Still, I think it's pretty obvious that the English one would hardly have continued if not for the games.

EDIT: Besides, that's still a lie: the Italian edition, for example, began in 2010. Unless he doesn't consider Italy to be in the "West"...
 

Wadiwasi

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Jun 28, 2013
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Id bet his "saltiness" is less about the money and probably more that there is a huge global audience that only knows the games and considers the Witcher a CDPR creation.

Yes, from everything I've seen about his personality it is the recognition that bothers him the most more so than the money
 

CrichtonKicks

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Also I don't see how an editor would put this tagline months before the game was released, not to mention that CDPR was unknown at the time outside of Poland. But I don't live in the UK so I can't verify that.
The game may have been delayed which caused the schedules to no longer align.

Regardless, its true. You can find it on google. Plus, I can verify it personally since I imported the UK edition on original release.
 

Mobius 1

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Aug 6, 2006
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Man CD did daylight robbery with this when you look at the sales now.
Did they? There was no way to predict the success of the franchise, it could have easily gone down as another unremarkable title based on some obscure work out there. If anything, the author should have capitalized on the runway success of the game by building a good relationship with CD Projekt RED and expanding on his own work.

Besides, nobody forced him to sell it.
 
Nov 2, 2016
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..I do not get how ppl can act like the games would be great without buying a competent existing fantasy IP 4 fuck all.

The gold standard of RPGs is the most expensive fan fiction ever made.

But yeah, fuck this dude who does he think he is some kind of fucking writer? Doesn't he know that video games is the highest art of all?

It has to be or I will kill myself in my moms basement...
 

Weltall Zero

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The license is specifically for Witcher 1? It'd be interesting to know then what they paid him afterwards when they presumably negotiated for an unlimited license.
That's what I was going to ask. If my understanding is correct, he sold the rights to all games, forever, for those $9500. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Ahasverus

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That's what I was going to ask. If my understanding is correct, he sold the rights to all games, forever, for those $9500. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
He did lol. Not even the game rights only, but the name "The Witcher". Any other product based on Widjzemmin called like that will either pay CDPR for the name or call itself "The Hexer", which is the far less recognizable translation.
 

Dec

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Feb 21, 2013
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Dunno why but I think it's a bit funny.

Also, I read that Sapkowski doesn't really consider TW games as canon?

I can understand that since he didn't write them, but thankfully (to me and it seems, a lot of people) the games are good.

It would be nice to see him write a Witcher game but I doubt it ever happens, sadly...
No one that has read the books can honestly say the games are canon. There is an ending in the books, the story is over. I mean... they give Geralt amnesia so they can keep the story going.

I guess I just don't get why people are so down on Sapkowski disliking the games. Maybe he is salty at how little he got with how successful the series is, but he was against the games since long before they were really successful, he had input on the world map for the first game and wanted nothing more to do with any of it. I think he dislikes them because of how fan fiction of his work has become considered more significant than the actual work itself.
 

Abilidebob

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..I do not get how ppl can act like the games would be great without buying a competent existing fantasy IP 4 fuck all.

The gold standard of RPGs is the most expensive fan fiction ever made.

But yeah, fuck this dude who does he think he is some kind of fucking writer? Doesn't he know that video games is the highest art of all?

It has to be or I will kill myself in my moms basement...
Are you having a stroke or something?
 

PHOENIXZERO

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Jan 7, 2007
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I need to get back to TW2 finish it and finally start TW3, I've had TW3 since launch thanks to getting a key from video card purchase but still haven't gotten to it, even upgraded it to the GOTY version back when GoG was offering it at a discount.

A lot of Captain Hindsights here

When the Witcher 1 came out, it was a new IP and significant risk to the developers. I remember playing the extended version on PC that came with a map, guide and soundtrack. The game was a bit janky and had a memorable Euro feel to it, loved the sex cards you get when Geralt beds one of the fairer sex.

I don't think it sold that many at first but they ploughed the profits back into the sequel and here we are today.

I know several gamers including myself who have bought the novels and graphic novels. The author has done well all things considered and should be proud that his stories and characters are so revered in gaming.
It doesn't take a Captain Hindsight or much foresight to take the percentage royalty and make sure it's on the gross, not the net. This is pretty basic stuff when licensing/selling adaptation rights and those who mess up are never happy their mistake. Another example would be Winston Groom who DID take a percentage royalty but of the net and because of that never saw a dime thanks to Hollywood's dirty accounting practices. Sure he sold a ton more books thanks to the movie and rushed out sequel that IIRC also sold well so he was pretty much set but damn if that didn't sting like a motherfucker.

It's hard to determine (I guess I could probably find it with more searching) but as of 2010 the original and the Enhanced Edition sold two million copies, the retail version of the original game shipped over 300,000 copies worldwide by the end of 2008 and on Steam it's now at over 3.3M and the second at over 4.6M. Of course the bulk of those were probably people who like me, bought it on sale and a huge portion probably when it was like $2 or less however had he taken the percentage even on the risk it probably wouldn't have taken long to make more than he was given depending on what the percentage was of course. His not understanding the medium and looking down upon it cost him a lot of money than that lump sum even before the games blew up in popularity.
 
Nov 2, 2016
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Because Gameplay>Story&&Graphics
Well it is a technically great game that I think is pretty much all story driven and the world, its characters and lore is from an existing IP made by this salty old man.

The actual gameplay is quite bland in my opinion.

I'm not buying that fuck this old man he didn't even know what the fuck the Witcher was until the video games came out.

All that is great in the Witcher comes from this old man to begin with, it's just an expensive 3D video game fan fiction represention of his vision.

I reallt don't care what they paid him.
 

VeeP

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Jan 14, 2013
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Dude sounds salty as fuck.

CDPR offered him a percentage deal but he thought the game would flop, so he wanted this deal instead.

And his books didn't sell better after the game/, especially Witcher 3 released? I don't believe that.

..I do not get how ppl can act like the games would be great without buying a competent existing fantasy IP 4 fuck all.

The gold standard of RPGs is the most expensive fan fiction ever made.

But yeah, fuck this dude who does he think he is some kind of fucking writer? Doesn't he know that video games is the highest art of all?

It has to be or I will kill myself in my moms basement...

This dude's a great writer. But a poor businessman, and he seems to have little knowledge about video games now a days. Did you read his quotes?

And no one said Witcher the video games would exist without this author, where are you getting your bullshit from?

Because Gameplay>Story&&Graphics
Witcher 3 was knocked for it's gameplay :/, did you even play the game?
 

frontovik

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The posters insulting Sapkowski and CDPR are being immature. Without either, we wouldn't have the series we have today. I wouldn't take things at face value.

I am sure that CDPR arranged a backroom deal to further "tip" Sapkowski after their successes. They seem like a fair company due to their philosophy.
 

Budi

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The posters insulting Sapkowski and CDPR are being immature. Without either, we wouldn't have the series we have today. I wouldn't take things at face value.
Yeah, those are critically acclaimed games and critically acclaimed books. And I don't expect old men to appreciate video games.
 

MrS

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Witcher 3 was knocked for it's gameplay :/, did you even play the game?
I've finished The Witcher 3 on Death March. The gameplay is excellent. Combat on Death March was a lot of fun too. It's an indisputable top 5 game this gen and that wouldn't be the case if the gameplay was bad.

Have you even played the game?
 
Aug 10, 2013
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Witcher has gameplay issues, but do not believe gaf that it is anywhere as bad as some in here make it out to be. If the game was so bad where the Combat ruined the experience of the game as a whole, it wouldn't be as critically or audience beloved as it is
 

zswordsman

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Witcher has gameplay issues, but do not believe gaf that it is anywhere as bad as some in here make it out to be. If the game was so bad where the Combat ruined the experience of the game as a whole, it wouldn't be as critically or audience beloved as it is
Pretty much this. The combat was average and Roach would always fuck up but the gameplay was nowhere near as bad as Gaf makes it out to be. I had tons of fun playing this game and the DLC.

Also, damn that guy got finessed but it's his fault. He should have just taken the percentage.
 
Aug 10, 2013
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No wonder he's pissed. That is a paltry amount compared to what CDPR made over the years with that IP.
I think if I were him I'd be more pissed that as whole when people think of the property they think of the game first and foremost and then think of the books. The games are king. Some might not even realize there's a book series it's based on.
 

KonradLaw

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This dude's a great writer. But a poor businessman, and he seems to have little knowledge about video games now a days.
He was just unlucky. The first attempt at making Witcher game was cancelled, so if he didn't take upfront payment he wouldn't get a dime. So it made sense for him to do the same with CDP.

Hingsight is always 20/20, but that was a long time ago, in time where not even one polish game has became international success. Where the team was all new and inexperienced. It was very likely the project would fail, so it made sense to not do licensing with fees
 

VeeP

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I've finished The Witcher 3 on Death March. The gameplay is excellent. Combat on Death March was a lot of fun too. It's an indisputable top 5 game this gen and that wouldn't be the case if the gameplay was bad.

Have you even played the game?
I'm playing it right now. A lot of gamers on GAF, and myself, play the game because of the story, and the world CDPR built. The game has an amazing open world, and CDPR knocked it out of the park with its level design, and quest design. Hearts of Stone? Amazing story, amazing design.

The gameplay? The combat itself? It's not that great. Dark Souls has better combat, Devil May Cry has amazing combat, Batman has fun combat, Witcher 3 has a mediocre combat system. That's what I mean by gameplay.

And you may disagree, and that's fine. But a lot of people on GAF would agree that the combat system isn't that great.

I realize now however that gameplay could also reference the overall design the game itself, and in that respect Witcher 3 is brilliant. The combat not so much.

They got Geralt's name wrong? CDPR kinda sucks.
Most likely the lawyers wrote up a contact and messed up, and CDPR misread the typo.
 

Budi

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I'm playing it right now. A lot of gamers on GAF, and myself, play the game because of the story, and the world CDPR built. The game has an amazing open world, and CDPR knocked it out of the park with its level design, and quest design. Hearts of Stone? Amazing story, amazing design.

The gameplay? The combat itself? It's not that great. Dark Souls has better combat, Devil May Cry has amazing combat, Batman has fun combat, Witcher 3 has a mediocre combat system. That's what I mean by gameplay.

And you may disagree, and that's fine. But a lot of people on GAF would agree that the combat system isn't that great.

I realize now however that gameplay could also reference the overall design the game itself, and in that respect Witcher 3 is brilliant. The combat not so much.



Most likely the lawyers wrote up a contact and messed up, and CDPR misread the typo.
Yes, gameplay isn't synonymous to combat. That being said, the combat in Witcher 3 is more than serviceable. Many even say good or great. I'd stick with good.
 

MrS

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I realize now however that gameplay could also reference the overall design the game itself, and in that respect Witcher 3 is brilliant. The combat not so much.
Gameplay and combat are indeed different things. You should know this.

I stand by saying the combat is good, particularly on Death March. I had a blast with it.

Who is this 'lots of GAF' you speak of who dislike the gameplay so much? The same 'lots of GAF' that said The Witcher 3 was the second best game released in 2015?
 
Aug 10, 2013
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I'm playing it right now. A lot of gamers on GAF, and myself, play the game because of the story, and the world CDPR built. The game has an amazing open world, and CDPR knocked it out of the park with its level design, and quest design. Hearts of Stone? Amazing story, amazing design.

The gameplay? The combat itself? It's not that great. Dark Souls has better combat, Devil May Cry has amazing combat, Batman has fun combat, Witcher 3 has a mediocre combat system. That's what I mean by gameplay.

And you may disagree, and that's fine. But a lot of people on GAF would agree that the combat system isn't that great.

I realize now however that gameplay could also reference the overall design the game itself, and in that respect Witcher 3 is brilliant. The combat not so much.



Most likely the lawyers wrote up a contact and messed up, and CDPR misread the typo.
Not many in general as a whole disagree that the Combat isn't good. Many would call it serviceable, if not 'fine' though. A loud minority, that sounds like a majority on gaf when thread after thread are made, need to say that the Combat is so bad it made them quit the game (or are hating playing it) and essentially need to remind everybody how souls titles are superior and games with inferior combats are the worst.

For gaf, gameplay is king. And that's fine. There's a reason platinum is so beloved in here. For me the sum of the parts is what makes the game. A weaker gameplay can be easily overcomed by better everything else. And the Witcher did that. For myself and for Lord knows how many others.
 

linkboy

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All I know is this.

I want to thank both Andrzej Sapkowski and CDPR for making The Witcher series (both games and books) what it is.

It went from being a series that I knew nothing about, to being one of my favorite fantasy series. Both the games and books are some of my favorite pieces of fantasy media (and that says a lot, considering how much I love the fantasy genre).
 

ethomaz

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Gameplay and combat are indeed different things. You should know this.

I stand by saying the combat is good, particularly on Death March. I had a blast with it.

Who is this 'lots of GAF' you speak of who dislike the gameplay so much? The same 'lots of GAF' that said The Witcher 3 was the second best game released in 2015?
The game overall is great and indeed a reference for Open World games but the gameplay or combat how you to call is mediocre.

It is serviceable being generous... it is even worst than FFXV gameplay that I consider serviceable.

The games exceeded at everything else and that makes it a gen.
 

VeeP

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Gameplay and combat are indeed different things. You should know this.

I stand by saying the combat is good, particularly on Death March. I had a blast with it.

Who is this 'lots of GAF' you speak of who dislike the gameplay so much? The same 'lots of GAF' that said The Witcher 3 was the second best game released in 2015?
Yea, I should've known that. My bad.

Search through old threads after Witcher 3 launched. People thought the overall combat and movement scheme was pretty eh. I myself regretted the purchasing the game until the alternate movement scheme came out, that's when I was able to fully enjoy exploring the world.

Not many in general as a whole disagree that the Combat isn't good. Many would call it serviceable, if not 'fine' though. A loud minority, that sounds like a majority on gaf when thread after thread are made, need to say that the Combat is so bad it made them quit the game (or are hating playing it) and essentially need to remind everybody how souls titles are superior and games with inferior combats are the worst.

For gaf, gameplay is king. And that's fine. There's a reason platinum is so beloved in here. For me the sum of the parts is what makes the game. A weaker gameplay can be easily overcomed by better everything else. And the Witcher did that. For myself and for Lord knows how many others.
Fair enough. The last part of what you said is very true. I believe the overall story & world CDPR created is what people love about the game.

Yes, gameplay isn't synonymous to combat. That being said, the combat in Witcher 3 is more than serviceable. Many even say good or great. I'd stick with good.
Fair points. I'd probably say that the combat itself is "good enough." But the other parts of the game more than make up for it.
 

Budi

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Fair points. I'd probably say that the combat itself is "good enough." But the other parts of the game more than make up for it.
Yeah, the combat can stand out for not being on the same level as many other aspect of the game. But for someone who played through W1 & W2 also loving them, the combat in W3 is godsend =P W1 combat is something I call serviceable RPG combat, Witcher 2 combat I couldn't really enjoy on any level. Subpar fps might have something to do with it though, should replay it now after I bought a new PC.