Despite its somewhat humble beginnings as a Polish book series, The Witcher is often perceived as one of the greatest RPGs to arrive on the market, and the developers at CD Projekt Red play no small role in that. One would expect that the creator of the series would be excited by its gaining reputation. That being said, in October of 2018, CDPR revealed that Andrzej Sapkowski, the author of the Witcher series, had filed a lawsuit against them, arguing that he now deserves royalties from the company due to the massive success of the gaming franchise.
Projekt Red has been quite open about the disagreement since it was announced, and even listed the demand for payment on their site. Though the company stated that their intentions are directed at keeping a mutually beneficial relationship between the two, they were also quick to note that the argument is built on “what had been contractually agreed upon” beforehand, and were therefore disinclined to agree, despite his contribution.
For Sapkowski, he claimed that the original deal struck between the author and developer was misleading. In an interview with Eurogamer, he stated that he expected nothing to come of it:
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.His argument stands that, as the original creator of The Witcher, he's now entitled to 6% of all profits gained from the franchise, including the sequels and spin-offs that continue to surface over time. His claim is justified by Article 44 of Poland's copyright law as well, which states:
In the event of gross discrepancy between the remuneration of the author and the benefits of the acquirer of the author's economic rights or the licensee, the author may request the court for a due increase of his/her remuneration.However, at the time of the request, CDPR refused. They argued that they had purchased the IP with a fixed price included, and Sapkowski himself had even refused the original deal of royalties when the developer had offered. But now, as the case continues into 2019, it seems that an agreement has finally been made. CD Projekt Red won't be paying the entire 6% of the royalties, but they will be paying something.
Before the legal battle occurred, Sapkowski received 35,520 Polish zloty ($9,350/€8,237) in return for the intellectual property of The Witcher. Now, with Projekt Red only partially agreeing to his terms, he'll be receiving a set amount of undisclosed royalties in the future. The exact amount is currently unknown, but it's certainly not the 60,000,000 zloty that Sapkowski had originally demanded.
There's no doubt that The Witcher franchise will continue to grow as time continues. Thronebreaker has only recently launched to the public, and with a Netflix show on the way as well, it's quite likely that Sapkowski will be dealing with CDPR again in the future, though whether or not they will remain on good terms is a mystery.
We've got the full list of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
This game was featured in our Best Xbox RPGs Available in 2017 article. Why not check it out to see what else made the cut?