The Witcher Author Demands Additional Royalties from CD Projekt RED
It looks like there’s some bad blood brewing between CD Projekt RED, developer of the video games series based on The Witcher, and the author of the source material, Andrzej Sapkowski. Sapkowski, who previously sold CD Projekt RED the rights to make the series into a video game by taking an upfront sum instead of royalties, sent a demand to the company through a lawyer seeking roughly $16 million in royalty payments, alleging that the rights agreement was only for a single game, therefore making all subsequent titles “unlawful.”
CD Projekt RED confirmed this event itself by posting its acknowledgement of the matter on its own website, on the section of its website pointed to investors. CD Projekt RED calls the demands “groundless,” but states that it wants to maintain its relationship with Sapkowski. Too that end, CD Projekt RED’s board seeks to settle the matter amicably, albeit with the disclaimer that there is a contract, and the goal from CD Projekt RED’s perspective is to adhere to that.
Eurogamer, in reporting on this story, had an interesting quote from Sapkowski, regarding the original rights purchase:
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.
If this goes anywhere beyond some kind of settlement, I’m sure we’ll hear about it, as well as whether or not Sapkowski’s lawyer’s evaluation of the original contract language holds up to scrutiny.
[Source: CD Projekt RED]