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Author of Witcher wants more money

Andrzej Sapkowski wants more money from CD Project RED

The author of The Witcher books, Andrzej Sapkowski, is seeking more money from CD Projekt Red after the success of their video game adaptations. To explain the circumstances of this news better, we have to go back to the year 2000, where Sapkowski famously undersold the Witcher adaptation rights, thinking the games will be a failure. Not to anyone’s surprise, CD Project RED refused to pay a dime to the writer. Some of you remember they didn’t want to pay a ransom for stolen Cyberpunk 2077 documents. Anyway, the developers declined the writer’s demands and followed it with an official statement. Here’s the highlight of it:

In the Company’s opinion the demands expressed in the notice are groundless with regard to their merit as well as the stipulated amount. The Company had legitimately and legally acquired copyright to Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski’s work, i.a. insofar as is required for its use in games developed by the Company. All liabilities payable by the Company in association therewith have been properly discharged.”   

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You can find Sapkowski’s demands here, but in short, he wants an additional PLN 60m (£12.4m/$16.1m). There will probably some difficulties to get that money since CDPR already paid the fee for the license and the contract was signed. Instead of a percentage of the games profit, Sapkowski wanted a fixed sum, believing that the adaptations would not be successful at all. Well, guess what, it was.

The situation is additionally made even more complicated by the upcoming Gwent standalone game. The question is, does that game still falls under the licensing agreement, or they can make the new agreement over it. However, with the game’s progress stagnating for a long time, you’d have to think that Sapkowski would have made a move before now.

Following CD Projekt Red’s public denial of the legitimacy of Sapkowksi’s demands, it’s now up to the author to make the next move. This could be settled in court after a protracted and messy affair, so stay tuned for more updates in this affair.