Andrzej Sapkowski, author of the Witcher novels upon which the popular game series is based, doesn’t make any money when you buy a copy of one of the games. That’s not because of any malfeasance on developer CD Projekt Red’s part, but because Sapkowski opted for an upfront payment when he was originally presented with a deal.
Sapkowski recounted the dealmaking process in an interview with Eurogamer, saying CD Projekt Red “brought a big bag of money,” which is all he was really asking for. “What I expect from an adaptation: a big bag of money. That is all,” he said.
However, the games have gone on to become far more successful than he (and likely CD Projekt Red) ever anticipated. “I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch,” he said. “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.”
That said, he does acknowledge the quality of the games and believes the acclaim they’ve received is deserved.
“The game is made very well, and they merit all of the beneficiaries they get from it,” he said. “They merit it. The game is very good, well done, well done.”
Sapkowski went on to say that, while he doesn’t play games, he doesn’t have anything against them or those who do play them. The full interview is a delightful read and well worth a look at Eurogamer.
The Witcher 3 wrapped up the story of Geralt as far as the games are concerned. No further plans for Witcher games have been confirmed, with CD Projekt Red instead currently in the process of developing a new game, Cyberpunk 2077, that’s due out in the next few years.