It’s old news by now that Andrzej Sapkowski, the Polish author of the Witcher series of books that CD Projekt RED’s critically acclaimed trilogy is based on, is somewhat salty about how successful the games are. However, we now know just how much he screwed himself; he sold The Witcher rights for $4,000.
And that’s only in today’s money. Back then, it was 15,000 złoty, the Polish unit of currency. However, inflation has since taken it down to a modest 4,000 dollars. He didn’t even sell it to CD Projekt RED at first, however; Originally, he sold the Witcher rights to a studio called Metropolis, headed by Adrian Chmielarz.
CD Projekt RED gained control of Metropolis several years later, and in turn bought the license again from Sapkowski. Sapkowski was offered by CD Projekt RED a portion of the royalties in addition to the licensing fee, but as he didn’t believe the games would make much money, Sapkowski declined.
Since then, Sapkowski has been more vocal in how stupid he was at refusing the royalties, especially since the Witcher games have become a smash hit across the world. Compared to how much the game has sold since the first Witcher game came out, he’s likely wishing he’d not only signed over the Witcher rights, but also demanded a portion of the royalties.
With everything that The Witcher games have been through since CD Projekt RED released the first game back in 2007, having grown into a gaming titan and even gotten its own spin-off card game in the form of the Gwent game, Sapkowski is likely still kicking himself.
Speaking of the Gwent spin-off game, that has finally gone into open beta on the Xbox One and PC, so if you loved Gwent when it was in The Witcher 3, try out the beta and see how you like it!