The person responsible for creating the wonderful characters and universe of The Witcher has never been a fan of video games. When CD Projekt Red approached him about creating an interactive take on his fiction, the writer had one thought. "What I expect from an adaptation: a big bag of money. That is all," Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski told Eurogamer.
"I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch," he continued. "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."
Talk about an extreme miscalculation. CD Projekt Red's successful Witcher trilogy has catapulted the studio's worth, which was recently valued at $1.6 billion. Missing out on that much profit for a game set in the universe you created could turn you bitter, but Sapkowski doesn't have any hard feelings. "The game is made very well," he says, "and they merit all of the beneficiaries they get from it. They merit it. The game is very good, well done, well done."
To learn more about the enigmatic writer and the creation of The Witcher novels, we highly recommend you read the rest of the Eurogamer interview.
Sometimes taking the money upfront instead of getting points on the back-end is a terrible idea, as Sapkowski demonstrates. But it's not all bad. The game franchise's success has resonated around the world, which has in turn driven book sales for Sapkowski. And we have a feeling that if a major motion picture or television studio offers him a deal, he will ask for royalties.