CD Projekt RED announced this week that the game development studio has reached a new agreement with The Witcher original creator, acclaimed Polish novelist Andrzej Sapkowski. This new agreement between the parties “solidifies” the relationship between the author and the development team behind the hugely successful The Witcher video game series and the upcoming action title Cyberpunk 2077.
Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher enjoyed popularity in his native Poland with his Witcher series starting in 1994 with The Blood of Elves before CD Projekt RED released the first game based on the white-haired fantasy hero Geralt of Rivia in 2007. Following the game’s release, The Witcher enjoyed a surge in global popularity, two well-received game sequels, crossover appearances for Witcher Geralt, and a new television series for Netflix. It was later discovered that Sapkowski licensed the rights to The Witcher to CD Projekt RED for a one-time sum of money instead of a deal based on percentages and royalties; Sapkowski has expressed his belief that video games are “stupid” and didn’t expect very much to come from the release of the game based on but different from his “ontology” of The Witcher and Geralt’s world.
We’ve always admired Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski’s works—a great inspiration for the team here at CD Projekt RED.
Sapkowski was proven wrong and in 2018 Sapkowski filed an official demand of CD Projekt RED to cut him in on more of the money, specifically requesting 60 million PLN of the profits (about $16 million USD) earned through games and media developed by CD Projekt RED from the Witcher property. CD Projekt RED agreed to a royalty arrangement with Sapkowski to maintain their working relationship despite having no legal responsibility to restructure the original deal; however, the agreement on the final sum the parties reached was less than Sapkowski’s request.
Following the reaching of a settlement in February of this year, more efforts have been underway to repair and maintain the relationship between the development studio and the novelist, with this week’s announcement sharing the fruits of those restorative labors: Sapkowski and CD Projekt RED have “signed an agreement further solidifying their relationship.”
“We’ve always admired Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski’s works—a great inspiration for the team here at CD Projekt RED,” CD Projekt president and joint CEO Adam Kiciński said in the released statement. “I believe today marks a new stage in our continued relationship.”
A non-disclosure agreement makes the exact details and figures behind the deal between the parties private, but according to CD Projekt RED’s statement, the new deal “satisfies and fully clarifies the needs and expectations of both parties, past and present, and sets out a framework for the future cooperation between the two sides.” The deal also grants new, additional rights to the Witcher property to CD Projekt RED, confirming the development studio’s right to put Geralt, Yennefer, Ciri, Triss, Dandelion, and likely anyone else from the series in future “videogames, graphic novels, board games, and merchandise.”
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.