If you happen to run into Andrzej Sapkowski, creator of The Witcher, you might not want to bring up the video games. They haven’t made his life much better, in part because they’re not making him any money.
Sapkowski, who spoke to Eurogamer’s Robert Purchese in an interview published today, has never been a gamer or showed much interest in the video games based on his world. So it might not come as a shock that he sold the rights to CD Projekt Red without asking for royalties. All he got was a check.
“I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch,” Sapkowski told Eurogamer. “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.”
In Poland, Sapkowski is the equivalent of J.R.R. Tolkien. But outside of Poland, when people see books with The Witcher on the spine, they assume that they’re looking at fiction based on the game. And Sapkowski says that sometimes people assume the same when talking to him, mistaking him for a Witcher fiction writer rather than the man who created Geralt and Ciri. “It happened,” he said. “It happened. I can remember my reaction: I know many bad words and I used all of them, in many languages.”
You can read the full interview here.