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Andrzej Sapkowski sold the rights to Metropolis's Witcher for $4000

boskee

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According to the Polish game journalist, Marcin Kosman, who now works for CDP.pl, Andrzej Sapkowski sold the rights to The Witcher game (that was produced by Metropolis Software) for 15 000 Polish zloty, or $4000 in today's money. It was Adrian Chmielarz (head of Metropolis) who reportedly coined the name The Witcher (as opposed to Sapkowski's prefered name Hexer), and first approached the writer back in 1998. That game never saw the light of day. Ten years later his studio was aquired by CD Projekt.

CD Projekt has aquired a seperate license from Sapkowski few years later (and we don't know how much he asked for it), but given the amount Sapkowski was willing to sell the rights to Metropolis, it's no wonder that he is now salty about the incredibly popular games.

Source

Edit: Adrian Chmielarz has now denied that Metropolis paid Sapkowski $4000.

Source
 

Mr. Phellps

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That's really low. Did he even demand royalties? The way he's salty about the games, I'm lead to believe he didn't.
 

Flame Lord

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Wow, he really thought so little of video games that he didn't think that he'd get at least $4000 out of it?
 

boskee

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That's really low. Did he even demand royalties? The way he's salty about the games, I'm lead to believe he didn't.
Apparently CDP approached him first offering royalties, but he prefered a single payment. He then, reportedly, tried to renegotiate his contract (after The Witcher turned out to be successful), but CDP rejected the offer.
 
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Isn't this shitty on Cd Projekt's side?. If they really respect him and his work why wouldn't they re-negotiate the contract?. I wouldn't like knowing that I make money off of something the creator now regrets and despises.
 

Wagram

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Dude got hustled big time. Then again, he should have known better.

Isn't this shitty on Cd Projekt's side?. If they really respect him and his work why wouldn't they re-negotiate the contract?. I wouldn't like knowing that I make money off of something the creator now regrets and despises.
See the above post. They actually offered him royalties, but he refused.
 

SocksAndShoes

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Apparently CDP approached him first offering royalties, but he prefered a single payment. He then, reportedly, tried to renegotiate his contract (after The Witcher turned out to be successful), but CDP rejected the offer.
LOL. He should probably learn how to negotiate a contract before being salty about being underpaid.
 

xRaizen

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That's really low. Did he even demand royalties? The way he's salty about the games, I'm lead to believe he didn't.
Nope, he thought the games would fail and so he thought that getting more money up front would be more lucrative than getting royalties.
 

Cerbero

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That's really low. Did he even demand royalties? The way he's salty about the games, I'm lead to believe he didn't.
CDPR offered him royalties, he refused and chose the classic "bag of money right here right now" because he didn't believe in the games, he can only blame himself really.
 

Affeinvasion

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I would be very happy if cdproject invested some money back into him to maybe write a new book or two or to hire him as a writer in some capacity for a single project.

It's pretty clear that the developers have a lot of love for the books.
 
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Drake

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I wouldn't feel too bad for Sapkowski. My guess is the games have driven the sales of the books to levels they would have never reached if the game didn't exist. Especially internationally.
 

boskee

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I wouldn't feel too bad for Sapkowski. My guess is the games have driven the sales of the books to levels they would have never reached if the game didn't exist. Especially internationally.
Sure they did, but he still lost a lot of money he could've earned if he was a better businessman. All this explains his saltiness towards the games, that's all. He doesn't understand them, thinks they're made for "non-intelligent people" and couldn't foresee their popularity.

Yeah, I know. He made that mistake and regrets it. It just feels shitty to make money off of something which the creator regrets.
Reportedly is the keyword here - it's a rumour making rounds in the Polish internet, but I've never seen any solid evidence, so take it with a pinch of salt
 

Cerbero

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I wouldn't feel too bad for Sapkowski. My guess is the games have driven the sales of the books to levels they would have never reached if the game didn't exist. Especially internationally.
Of course, the books weren't even translated in a lot of languages before the games came out
 

Salty Rice

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Yeah, I know. He made that mistake and regrets it. It just feels shitty to make money off of something which the creator regrets.
He fucked up and acted stupid multiple times even after getting offered a new deal.

Sapkowski is a old guy who thinks video games are stupid. Sometimes you see him yell at clouds.

Nothing shitty about it. He sold the rights.
 

Galamauth

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Iirc from listening to the Super best friends podcast from a few weeks back the author was not at all hustled. He did an interview with another younger author who also licensed his books to games (metro 2033?)and ended up revealing he is an utter curmudgeon who never thought a video game based on his work would ever go anywhere because video games are stupid so ended up at that price out of pure hubris. Well deserved.
 

Jigorath

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I wouldn't feel too bad for Sapkowski. My guess is the games have driven the sales of the books to levels they would have never reached if the game didn't exist. Especially internationally.
Yep.

I'm sure he's made a ton of money off the games even without royalties.
 

Lister

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Don't these types of contracts usualyl includ some type of residuals just incase the project does really, really well?
 

Datschge

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Sure they did, but he still lost a lot of money he could've earned if he was a better businessman.
He studied economics and worked as a senior sales representative for a foreign trade company before starting to write. He has only himself to blame.
 

godhandiscen

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It is all about the execution. The license would be nothing slapped on a bad game.
 
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He fucked up and acted stupid multiple times even after getting offered a new deal.

Sapkowski is a old guy who thinks video games are stupid. Sometimes you see him yell at clouds.

Nothing shitty about it. He sold the rights.
Marvel sold the movie rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Do people treat Fox with any ill will today?. Don't people wish the rights would go back?. Do people insult and name-call Marvel because they made a mistake?.
 

boskee

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....hahahahahahahahahahaha
Both positions are correct, really. Sapkowski's books helped the sales of the game in CEE and Germany, but the games helped popularize the books in the west.

pfffff, basically no one knew (or had access to) the books outside of Poland.
Not really. His books were well known in the Central-Eastern Europe and Germany.
 

KillLaCam

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Thats hilarious. Even if he thought it was gonna fail he should have taken a percentage.His fault
 

g11

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Isn't this shitty on Cd Projekt's side?. If they really respect him and his work why wouldn't they re-negotiate the contract?. I wouldn't like knowing that I make money off of something the creator now regrets and despises.
Dude negotiated himself out of that money. If I was CDPR I'd thank my lucky stars that Sapkowski is apparently an idiot when it comes to business, because it saved them millions most likely.
 

EDarkness

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According to the Polish game journalist, Marcin Kosman, who now works for CDP, Andrzej Sapkowski sold the rights to The Witcher game (that was produced by Metropolis Software) for 15 000 Polish zloty, or $4000 in today's money. It was Adrian Chmielarz (head of Metropolis) who reportedly coined the name The Witcher (as opposed to Sapkowski's prefered name Hexer), and first approached the writer back in 1998. That game never saw the light of day. Ten years later his studio was aquired by CD Projekt.

CD Projekt has aquired a seperate license from Sapkowski few years later (and we don't know how much he asked for it), but given the amount Sapkowski was willing to sell the rights to Metropolis, it's no wonder that he is now salty about the incredibly popular games.

Source
Sheesh. He must have been hard up for cash, because I never would have sold my characters/story/etc. for that much. If it's successful, you really lose out.
 

Kadayi

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/netflix-the-witcher-announce-1.4121942

Based on this news about the upcoming Netflix series, it doesn't seem like he feels his book sales have improved as a result of the game's success.

Personally, I'd never heard of him before the first game, but I enjoyed it enough that I've bought a few of the books, though to be equally fair, I didn't think they were all that great themselves. Mayhap they read better in Polish.
 

CopperPuppy

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A classic case of cashing out too early. He was offered royalties and said no. Then he came back when there was more money to be had and thought he'd get in on it. That ain't how it works. Dude scooped up a winning lottery ticket and traded for a Big Gulp before he scratched it off.
 

Mr. Phellps

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Apparently CDP approached him first offering royalties, but he prefered a single payment. He then, reportedly, tried to renegotiate his contract (after The Witcher turned out to be successful), but CDP rejected the offer.
Nope, he thought the games would fail and so he thought that getting more money up front would be more lucrative than getting royalties.
CDPR offered him royalties, he refused and chose the classic "bag of money right here right now" because he didn't believe in the games, he can only blame himself really.
Wow, yeah, he really only has himself to blame. Still, I don't see why he's so resentful about the games, they are 100% responsible for any rise in book sales he might've had since the games got so popular.