[Eurogamer] Witcher author demands more money from CD Projekt
"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."
He asked and received 35,000 Polish zloty / around £7000, with the contract.
Now he's demanding 60 million zloty / 14 million £
Good that CDPR denied his demand. The success of Witcher games is thanks to CDPR. It wasn't even that successful with the first game, they kept going to make it successful.
I'm sure they will work out an agreement. At the end of the day, it's CDProjekt who brought the Wiedzmin series out of Poland and to the masses. Not the novels by Sapkowski.
Even during the release of the original Witcher game on PC back in 2007 if I recall correctly, it went mainly under the radar. It took a lot of work from CDProject to understand how to push this IP. If it wasn't for work from Witcher to Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings, none of this would be relevant today.
It wasn't only CDProjekt pushing it but Tomasz Bagiński who had also joined the team. One the most famous animators from Poland who created the most epic intro's ever seen in a game. [edited]
I think the majority would agree that CDProjekt is not bound to just "give him money" but I am sure they will work out a new arrangement. Especially since they got the IP for almost nothing at the time.
Changing your mind on a business agreement years later doesn't work. I don't see why this had to go public unless CDPR has indefinite rights and wants the author to starve or something. No one would be happy if you buy something and years later seller comes back and demands more money.
That contract apparently happened sometime in 2005-6. The Witcher series became mildly known in Central Europe and Sapkowski got a name as "polish Tolkien". What is (and was problem back then) is that people here are used to pay and get paid a fixed sum of money, instead of negotiate for royalties.
After the 2nd games it became known globally, and it needed 3rd one to get the attention it has now. And the name is apparently still selling. Gwent, Thronebreaker, etc...
Tbh, i dont like the "sort of fame" Sapkowski gained (as he used to show up drunk on festivals), but i have to agree that he deserves even financial appreciation.