Recently, Robert Purchese from Eurogamer had an interesting conversation with Andrzej Sapkowski: the father of Geralt of Rivia, the creator of the Witcher universe (WiedŸmin in Polish), and the writer of the original book saga released back in the 1990s. You may be thinking that the man profits greatly from the worldwide success of the video game adaptations of his novels, right? Well, not quite. When CD Projekt approached Sapkowski about the rights to the franchise at the beginning of 2000s, the author chose full compensation right then instead of a percentage of the future profits, meaning that he is getting nothing from the games’ sales. This is what he said:
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.
So that’s it. The writer took the money and then left the project in CD Projekt RED’s hands. Sapkowski is by no means a fan of video games – he considers “killing Martians” stupid. And no, he never played any of the Witcher games. Despite his unfavorable approach to digital entertainment in general, he did admit The Witcher 3 excells among its kind:
The game is made very well, and they [CD Projekt] merit all of the beneficiaries [sic] they get from it. They merit it. The game is very good, well done, well done.
At the same time he stressed that while he doesn’t personally like games or play them, he neither despises them nor has anything against gamers. The only thing that really bothers him, though, is the fact that some people have mistaken him for someone who writes books based on the video games, and not the original author of The Witcher universe. He fears that in some 20 years from now everyone outside Poland will recognize The Witcher, but they won’t have any idea who invented that world. On the other hand, The Witcher book saga has only recently been translated into English after the games’ success, thus introducing it to a new audience.