Does Andrzej Sapkowski truly hate these games or is he mad at himself for a bad decision?

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#1 Posted by xanadu (2037 posts) -

Kind of a long title but that is the gist of this post. There's a lot of articles and blog posts going on right now about how Sapkowski originally sold the rights for The Witcher at a staggering low price of $4000. Now The Witcher name may not be as big as something like Call of Duty and although the original deal happened well before the games, $4k is definitely too low. What may be an even bigger revelation is that after he negotiated a new price (this amount is not known) with CD projeckt Red, he refused an offer to receive royalties from the games. Thats really hard to believe. Why would he refuse this? The only reason I can think of is he refused it in favor of a bigger check for the rights. The first Witcher game was relativity niche, the sequel increased that momentum, and Witcher 3 sold around 4 million copies in its first two weeks. I think you messed up, Sapkowski. Unless he got a REALLY big check from CD Project Red but that would've had to been before the release of Witcher 1 and I doubt it. Sapkowski has been no stranger in expressing his disdain for video games and the stories they create. He's almost unnecessarily antagonistic about it.

So what do you guys think? Am I and the rest of current Internet speculation reading too much into this or is Sapkowski internally kicking himself for a series of bad moves?

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#2 Posted by Haruko (567 posts) -

100% he's pissed that he sold the rights like he did no question. Look at the history of both CD Project Red and game "development" in Poland and your led to one thing piracy CD Project Red was formed to translate and bootleg Baulders Gate into Polish most games made there make little to no money because lets face it most of eastern Europe is full of PC game pirates the only way the Witcher games would make money is if they did well overseas. Why would they do well overseas the books weren't out over here. Games sold like hotcakes dude is pissed he took the low payout instead of playing the long game. Old people dont understand new media same as always.

Note: Im rambling a bit but I think i got most of my points across.

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#3 Edited by InternetDotCom (4004 posts) -

Seems like the lesson is never sell your shit for cheap unless you have incentives in a contract

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#4 Posted by MezZa (3048 posts) -

I think its both, but not as extreme as most people like to paint it. I dont think it has to be one extreme or the other. My guess is he probably does regret not getting a better deal on the games, but also probably doesn't like what the games did with the universe because it's not his work. I can't blame him either way.

The chance of the games becoming a hit was slim to none and it's not like this was a huge name developer coming to him. As I understand it he got burned in the past by making a deal with a dev that never even released the game, so he probably didn't want to risk going royalties with less upfront this time.

That being said it does seem like he's just a bit of a grump who won't accept anyone else's work in the universe he made unless he has a hand in it. It's his writing so that's his right to be grumpy about it I guess. Sometime you have to separate the man from the work. I love the Witcher series books and games, but I don't think the author would be someone I'd ever like to meet.

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#5 Edited by Ezekiel (2257 posts) -

Didn't read most of the article, but I agree with him that video games essentially aren't very good at telling stories, since their main purpose is to entertain. It's hard to write a good story when the activities in the game are so arbitrary and fun and the world is so restrictive. No wonder many of the respected art games have minimalist stories. I found The Witcher 3 overbearingly bloated with dull dialogue. It was disruptive. I play games mainly for the interactivity. A book can tell the story better. It can cut out all the pointless mundanity.

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#6 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1646 posts) -

He just sounds like a grumpy old fart in everything I've heard.

Online
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#7 Posted by Ares42 (4342 posts) -

He's a 68 year old writer that has been writing books for a few decades. I think it's safe to say that he might have a somewhat entrenched opinion on what counts as good entertainment and might not be too in on "what the kids do these days".

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#8 Posted by Vasta_Narada (750 posts) -
@ezekiel said:

Didn't read most of the article, but I agree with him that video games essentially aren't very good at telling stories, since their main purpose is to entertain. It's hard to write a good story when the activities in the game are so arbitrary and fun and the world is so restrictive. No wonder many of the respected art games have minimalist stories. I found The Witcher 3 overbearingly bloated with dull dialogue. It was disruptive. I play games mainly for the interactivity. A book can tell the story better. It can cut out all the pointless mundanity.

Having not read the article and responding purely to you, I think that games can tell really good stories: the problem is that games are still trying to emulate movies and books. The most recent example I can think of for a game with a really strong narrative that isn't an "art game" is Nier Automata (and Nier), and what makes that game's narrative so good is that it's leaning into the medium. The narrative itself is strong, but if it were presented like any other open world RPG or JRPG then it wouldn't have been as powerful. Games, to me, are better than just about any other medium at evoking emotions and senses of place but developers still haven't learned how to use the tools at their disposal to maximum effect. Another example is Halo ODST which, even though the story isn't great, absolutely nailed the final moments.

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#9 Posted by Marz (6095 posts) -

always take royalties even if you think there's no chance of success.

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#10 Posted by Undeadpool (6972 posts) -

@ezekiel said:

Didn't read most of the article, but I agree with him that video games essentially aren't very good at telling stories, since their main purpose is to entertain. It's hard to write a good story when the activities in the game are so arbitrary and fun and the world is so restrictive. No wonder many of the respected art games have minimalist stories. I found The Witcher 3 overbearingly bloated with dull dialogue. It was disruptive. I play games mainly for the interactivity. A book can tell the story better. It can cut out all the pointless mundanity.

This isn't REALLY what it's about, though. He's gone so far as to say the game hurt his book sales, which...I cannot FATHOM that's true. If he wants to TRY and argue that it hasn't helped them, maybe. MAYBE?? But actively hurt them? As if someone went to buy his book and then saw Witcher 3 being advertised in the Gamestop across the street (or on Amazon Related Products) and FULL-STOP, went "HANG ON A MOMENT!"

I don't generally like to read the intent of people I've never met, but the dude is needlessly antagonistic so, whether or not games CAN tell good stories is immaterial, especially with a history of bull-headed financial decisions.

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#11 Edited by AdequatelyPrepared (2522 posts) -

I think it's a combination of disliking video games in general and also being really bitter that said video games would have made him incredibly wealthy. He's probably way too pissed with himself at this point to admit that he incorrectly judged the situation, and so is doubling down on his hatred video games.

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#12 Posted by csl316 (14959 posts) -

I think he's bummed about not getting paid what he could've gotten, but from what I understand he's glad the games are well-made and liked. Because at the very least, they've exposed his work to a whole new audience, leading to the English translations, the Netflix series, and whatever else comes next.

He's missed out on 3 video games, but there's such potential for his stories being adapted or expanded in other mediums now.

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#13 Posted by probablytuna (5008 posts) -

Think about it this way, you spend almost three decades creating this elaborate literary fantasy world with limited international success and now in comes this group of people who licensed your material and created something much much more successful. If I was the creator I would probably feel a little miffed/slighted too. It's a bummer he can't see the other side of it, which is that CD Projekt Red helped opened a whole new audience to the Witcher universe but that's life. He has his own opinions about the games, and that's perfectly fine.

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#14 Posted by Ezekiel (2257 posts) -

@ezekiel said:

Didn't read most of the article, but I agree with him that video games essentially aren't very good at telling stories, since their main purpose is to entertain. It's hard to write a good story when the activities in the game are so arbitrary and fun and the world is so restrictive. No wonder many of the respected art games have minimalist stories. I found The Witcher 3 overbearingly bloated with dull dialogue. It was disruptive. I play games mainly for the interactivity. A book can tell the story better. It can cut out all the pointless mundanity.

Having not read the article and responding purely to you, I think that games can tell really good stories: the problem is that games are still trying to emulate movies and books. The most recent example I can think of for a game with a really strong narrative that isn't an "art game" is Nier Automata (and Nier), and what makes that game's narrative so good is that it's leaning into the medium. The narrative itself is strong, but if it were presented like any other open world RPG or JRPG then it wouldn't have been as powerful. Games, to me, are better than just about any other medium at evoking emotions and senses of place but developers still haven't learned how to use the tools at their disposal to maximum effect. Another example is Halo ODST which, even though the story isn't great, absolutely nailed the final moments.

I didn't find the story of Nier: Automata that great, but unlike Witcher 3, it kept me invested through almost its whole length, and the cutscenes and talking never felt so overbearing. When I played Witcher 3, I often picked the dialogue options that would get the characters to shut up faster. Automata was an easy game to marathon. You're right, it embraces its medium like few of the modern open world games do. For that I respect it.

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#15 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

To me he is clearly bitter the games got the brand out there and drove people to the books from that. It's pride and money.

From his comments he has a very shallow analysis of videogame stories (like many who say no games have good stories or whatever, just says it and walks away with little reasoning why so many smart, well read people enjoy playing RPGs for their stories). I really enjoy the original stories but the games do great work with the source material and the visual representation is amongst the best in any games with Witcher 2 and 3.

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#16 Posted by odinsmana (982 posts) -

@mezza said:

I think its both, but not as extreme as most people like to paint it. I dont think it has to be one extreme or the other. My guess is he probably does regret not getting a better deal on the games, but also probably doesn't like what the games did with the universe because it's not his work. I can't blame him either way.

I think this is pretty spot on.

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#17 Posted by Wolfstein_3D (289 posts) -

@haruko said:

100% he's pissed that he sold the rights like he did no question. (...)Games sold like hotcakes dude is pissed he took the low payout instead of playing the long game. Old people dont understand new media same as always.

This sums it up pretty much!

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#18 Edited by Dray2k (884 posts) -

Lets not kid ourselves. The Witcher (before the third one) wasn't even that popular until The Witcher 3 came out. The Books are a big deal after all. I've heard about the series way before the games.

Meanwhile, the The Witcher books were already famous, for instance they made a TV series of them way before The Witcher 1 (around 5 years earlier). How many people have known The Witcher before the games? As many as when The Witcher 2 came out I would say, but thats just evidence based on observation. Millions knew about The Witcher already before the games.

I can imagine however that Sapkowski is angry. 4000$ implies that The Witcher as a book series is/was worthless, which isn't the case at all. It probably was something that was handled by the publisher (of the book) and they had no idea what they were doing.

If you ever played The Witcher 1 and see the connection to, lets say, the Gothic franchise you see how huge the game is in Poland (and Russia). They underestimated the fanbase big time there. And The Witcher 1 is a direct homage to Piranha Byte games.

@mezza: A reasonable post with common sense and wisdom? This is the GB forums, get the hell out of here with these things :P!

I fully agree with you, theres quite a lot of factors that came into play here. And Sapkowski, like many other artists, really does love their work and from what I've heard is that CDProjektRED made the games to not be 100% faithful to its source material. I can understand that the inventor of the entire world of the witcher would be at least be a little bit upset about that.

From what I can tell, the Movie and TV series also changed a few things about the story, the setting and the chracters.

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#19 Posted by hans_maulwurf (641 posts) -

The most recent thing I read about this was this eurogamer article. I'll just leave some select quotes here:

"Well they brought a big bag of money", "What I expect from an adaptation: a big bag of money. That is all." and "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."

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#20 Edited by BoOzak (2573 posts) -
@adequatelyprepared said:

I think it's a combination of disliking video games in general and also being really bitter that said video games would have made him incredibly wealthy. He's probably way too pissed with himself at this point to admit that he incorrectly judged the situation, and so is doubling down on his hatred video games.

He admitted that he made a bad choice to take cash over royalties and acknowledges the games are well made but still thinks videogames in general are stupid.

This interview paints a slightly more positive picture of him but he still seems like a bitter old man who is very stuck in his ways.

EDIT: Beaten to it ;p

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#21 Posted by ToTheNines (1672 posts) -

@ezekiel said:
@vasta_narada said:
@ezekiel said:

Didn't read most of the article, but I agree with him that video games essentially aren't very good at telling stories, since their main purpose is to entertain. It's hard to write a good story when the activities in the game are so arbitrary and fun and the world is so restrictive. No wonder many of the respected art games have minimalist stories. I found The Witcher 3 overbearingly bloated with dull dialogue. It was disruptive. I play games mainly for the interactivity. A book can tell the story better. It can cut out all the pointless mundanity.

Having not read the article and responding purely to you, I think that games can tell really good stories: the problem is that games are still trying to emulate movies and books. The most recent example I can think of for a game with a really strong narrative that isn't an "art game" is Nier Automata (and Nier), and what makes that game's narrative so good is that it's leaning into the medium. The narrative itself is strong, but if it were presented like any other open world RPG or JRPG then it wouldn't have been as powerful. Games, to me, are better than just about any other medium at evoking emotions and senses of place but developers still haven't learned how to use the tools at their disposal to maximum effect. Another example is Halo ODST which, even though the story isn't great, absolutely nailed the final moments.

I didn't find the story of Nier: Automata that great, but unlike Witcher 3, it kept me invested through almost its whole length, and the cutscenes and talking never felt so overbearing. When I played Witcher 3, I often picked the dialogue options that would get the characters to shut up faster. Automata was an easy game to marathon. You're right, it embraces its medium like few of the modern open world games do. For that I respect it.

It's amazing how different people are, because I can't relate to this at all. After 7 hours of gameplay or so, I felt completely sucked into The Witcher 3, and the gameplay though very good was not the reason. I feel like when a good story and it's characters gets mixed with exploration it brings a level of immersion I have trouble finding in any other medium. You don't read about The Witcher, you become The Witcher, as corny as that sounds.

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#22 Posted by Vasta_Narada (750 posts) -
@ezekiel said:
@vasta_narada said:
@ezekiel said:

Didn't read most of the article, but I agree with him that video games essentially aren't very good at telling stories, since their main purpose is to entertain. It's hard to write a good story when the activities in the game are so arbitrary and fun and the world is so restrictive. No wonder many of the respected art games have minimalist stories. I found The Witcher 3 overbearingly bloated with dull dialogue. It was disruptive. I play games mainly for the interactivity. A book can tell the story better. It can cut out all the pointless mundanity.

Having not read the article and responding purely to you, I think that games can tell really good stories: the problem is that games are still trying to emulate movies and books. The most recent example I can think of for a game with a really strong narrative that isn't an "art game" is Nier Automata (and Nier), and what makes that game's narrative so good is that it's leaning into the medium. The narrative itself is strong, but if it were presented like any other open world RPG or JRPG then it wouldn't have been as powerful. Games, to me, are better than just about any other medium at evoking emotions and senses of place but developers still haven't learned how to use the tools at their disposal to maximum effect. Another example is Halo ODST which, even though the story isn't great, absolutely nailed the final moments.

I didn't find the story of Nier: Automata that great, but unlike Witcher 3, it kept me invested through almost its whole length, and the cutscenes and talking never felt so overbearing. When I played Witcher 3, I often picked the dialogue options that would get the characters to shut up faster. Automata was an easy game to marathon. You're right, it embraces its medium like few of the modern open world games do. For that I respect it.

It's amazing how different people are, because I can't relate to this at all. After 7 hours of gameplay or so, I felt completely sucked into The Witcher 3, and the gameplay though very good was not the reason. I feel like when a good story and it's characters gets mixed with exploration it brings a level of immersion I have trouble finding in any other medium. You don't read about The Witcher, you become The Witcher, as corny as that sounds.

I liked the story to Automata, but I chose "narrative" instead of "story" because I thought the whole package, including the side quest lines and lore, is what was strong. As for the Witcher 3, it's a strong case for immersion but I was personally doing things in-game that didn't make any sense for Geralt to be doing so it was harder for me :P

My go-to for immersion in an open world environment is actually Final Fantasy XV. Rolling with 3 dudes that reminded me of my 3 best friends in a place that felt like the real world is what makes it one of my favorite games.

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#23 Posted by lokihellfire2008 (160 posts) -

@hans_maulwurf: this does seem pretty telling and that he probably has some regret over not sharing in profits. I've heard from other authors before that games don't work as well as books, but I think that they are just a different kind of storytelling, so more like comparing apples to oranges. I've never read the Witcher books, and I'm honestly not that interested in the books. The game interests me for the gameplay and it having a good story is a very nice benefit.

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#24 Edited by BladeOfCreation (1309 posts) -

I guess this is one of those cases where it's beneficial to separate the artist from the work.

Funny thing is I've been a fan since I played the first game back in 2008, and once the Netflix series got announced I decided it was FINALLY time to get through the books. I'm really enjoying the first one so far. That said, I can see how the first game especially could be called extremely referential to the books. So far there's already one character I thought was made for the game that's shown up in the books.

The guy is clearly bitter that he didn't take royalties, and based on previous adaptations of his work, I can see why he thought the games wouldn't be successful. But honestly he sounds like George Lucas talking about the Star Wars Expanded Universe. He's perfectly happy to take money from licensing his work, but then shits all over the people who did that work.

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#25 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -
@dray2k said:

Lets not kid ourselves. The Witcher (before the third one) wasn't even that popular until The Witcher 3 came out. The Books are a big deal after all. I've heard about the series way before the games.

Meanwhile, the The Witcher books were already famous, for instance they made a TV series of them way before The Witcher 1 (around 5 years earlier). How many people have known The Witcher before the games? As many as when The Witcher 2 came out I would say, but thats just evidence based on observation. Millions knew about The Witcher already before the games.

1) Witcher 1 and 2 sold more than 6 million copies before Witcher 3 even came out (those are big numbers for an RPG). Now the series has sold more than 25 million copies all together.

2) The Witcher was not famous in America before the games. All the sales and marketing back it up (the books are all marketed with art if not taken directly from, inspired by the games). It's not all about America we are discussing but lets be clear about the series outside Poland and Europe. I am a big reader and fantasy reader and I didn't hear or see the books before the games.

3) No one said it was worthless. It became something that made more money and was more widely known abroad after the games. The books are great but the games are very big and blew up the franchise into something that gets a Netflix show. There is no Netflix show in America (where the games made the series) without the games.

@tothenines: The Witcher games are incredible. I am with you. No game gets me to RP and get invested in quite the same way as the Witcher.

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#26 Edited by RonGalaxy (4936 posts) -

My first reaction to this was that he's just being salty, but now I'm more conflicted. I don't know this dude, and I don't know why he chose to sell the rights to the Witcher the way he did. It's probably more complicated than "he's a dummy". Although, maybe it isn't.

Personally if I was cdpr I would throw the dude a bone even though they don't have to. Who knows, maybe they did and the guys still cross about it. Either way it's a shitty situation. Im going to remain Witcher neutral on this one.

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#27 Edited by Dray2k (884 posts) -

@artisanbreads: Thanks for your insights, some things I would like to add to my initial post regarding the stuff you've told me.

to 1) Yeah thats true, Before May 2015 the game series sold 6 million compared to the 25 million 2 years after, thats more than 4 times the growth. That the game series does well is really nice, as I like The Witcher. But we were talking about how the books were just as known as the games, which they kinda were (It took around around 10 years to make a movie of the books). The games alone now seem to be several times more famous thanks to The Witcher 3, as you've already stated according to your data. This sort of growth alone is amazing. I agree that 6 million copies between 2007 and 2015 is great. You still have to take into account that it took 8 years to reach 6 million copies sold (still a lot for RPGs as you've already stated), but only 2 years for the other 19 million. And all of that was way after the fame of the books, which sold millions before they made a video game out from them.

2) Point taken. If anything, the story of the witcher became known in these parts of the world, which is nice. The Witcher is a story good enough to further scratch that itch that subgenre of low fantasy stories that book like ASOIAF already provide and its cool that a lot of people are interested in it.

3) Thats cool. Though this thread is more about the author of the Books and the reasons on why he dislikes the games so its not really on topic. But still, thanks for the insights. I think Video Games can serve as great promotion material, if done right (as its in this case). One thing though, I typed "worthless" is not from my perspective, but the perspective of the publishers who were willing to give the rights of the book away for 4000$. Which is not justified considering they made movies and shows out of the books and it was already worth a lot. Thats all I've meant :D.

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#28 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1309 posts) -

@dray2k: I think it would be interesting to break down those sale numbers by country. The first book of short stories wasn't translated into English until around the first game came out. There's a gap of five years between the English translations of the first and second books. Yes, the books are popular and well-known across Europe, and have been for 20 years at this point, but they absolutely were not well-known in the US before the games.

The Netflix series is said to be based on the books, but unless it's a Polish-language production that gets translated into English, I think it's safe to say that without the fame of the games in the English-speaking parts of the world (and primarily the US), this series would not be happening.

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#29 Edited by Dray2k (884 posts) -

@bladeofcreation: Well to be fair, I don't know the numbers, but they did a lot of things regarding the books before they made a game out of it.

Of course, the games increased exposure, people who never read The Witcher began to knew about the franchise after all. I began to read 2 of The Witcher books in 2010, 3 years after the first game came out so the games certainly targeted me, a Gothic fan.

Though personally I don't think that overall sale numbers are that important, I'm more interested about the annual sales. It would be nice to see when the books became a hit. You can calculate the rest if you know the annual booksales from 1992 - 2007. After that it would be interesting to know how much the sales increased after the games came out, to see how much exposure the games created.

I wouldn't say that the games became a mainstream series like GTA but still, the series became globally known with The Witcher 3. I did nothing to imply that the games didn't impact the franchise as a whole. So even if we're utopian and the books series sold like 12 million, 6 million still mean a potential growth in exposure by 50%, thats 6 mio folks who have never heard about that the books even exist and thats huge. Also lets not think of countries as a monolith, as there certainly are Europeans who've yet to hear about the books (as readers) or the games (as players).

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#30 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1309 posts) -

@dray2k: Completely anecdotally, I've talked to two people from Poland who've said that the books were super popular and well-known there. One person mentioned it was even well-known among people who were not generally fantasy fans, kind of like Game of Thrones.

I know countries and regions of the world aren't monoliths. I differentiated between Europe and the US because I know the books were translated into various languages spoken in Europe well before they were translated into English. It's why Vinny read the books in Italian. The interesting thing about this (to me, anyways) is that the last book was only translated into English this year. The entire book series now has a potential audience of English-speakers who've been fans of the games but were unable to read the series until now. I'm really curious what the US and UK sales will look like for the books.

Anyways, that's all a long way of saying that the games were known to more English speakers before the books were, but the books were popular enough in Poland to have a TV series made before the games. (There's clips of it on YouTube. It ain't good.)

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#31 Edited by BladeOfCreation (1309 posts) -

@xanadu: That Waypoint interview with the authors is great. I think the Metro 2033 author has a higher opinion of his game's story than is warranted (it's not the FIRST great story in a 3D shooter), but other than that he seems entirely down-to-Earth and reasonable. Yes, his story was successful and people want to write in it, but he sees that as something to share rather than something to be upset about.

Sapkowski can be straight-up wrong about video games. Nothing to be done about that. No one is gonna convince him otherwise. And so far, I'm really enjoying The Blood of Elves and I think he has some interesting things to say.

But holy shit, his thing about needing to make money from adaptations or not being able to pay rent is REALLY dumb. If that's the case...then write more books, dude. Damn.

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#32 Edited by xanadu (2037 posts) -

@bladeofcreation: I just finished The Blood of Elves (it was fantastic) and am working through The Time of Contempt. The first two short story books were good but I prefer a full novel. The books also put a whole new perspective of the relationship between Yennifer and Geralt.

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#33 Posted by BoccKob (471 posts) -

Internet speculation usually reads more into things than was originally there. Sapkowski sounds like a grouchy, hilarious dude whose comments probably lose some of their tone and context when they're just printed. I bet it would be annoying to have written a series that's super popular for decades where you're from, then you meet people who've only known the games and they're like, "so what's your deal? Are you a Witcher fan or something?"

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#34 Posted by linkster7 (1371 posts) -

I thought I saw a translated interview somewhere where he straight up stated that he's "Angry with himself for not taking the royalties but he bears no ill will against the game developers". Can't find it again now though

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#35 Posted by jay_ray (1569 posts) -

Without getting to much into the head of a guy I don't know I would assume while he would be angry with himself for not getting more money from the game series I think his dislike is more from not understanding the medium as well as disliking the way the developers hack and slashed his stories to be coherent stories for the games.

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#36 Posted by avantegardener (2368 posts) -

He truly hates taking a flat fee, but I think like all creators, he probably feels they did not get authorial voice voice absolutely correct, which is fair enough.

As the eventual consumers, we were the lucky ones, we got great games, great books and hopefully a great tv series.

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#37 Edited by Slag (8157 posts) -

Yeah I think it's both.

Plus didn't he sell the rights to another company who in turn was bought by CD projeckt Red?

So he may have never been ok with CDPR intended to do with his work but couldn't block it due to his contractual arrangement.

Hard to say, I'm sure there are a lot of reasons.

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#38 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

@dray2k: Yeah it's cool I just wanted to throw some numbers in there. Again, I am American so I can't speak at all to how it was in Europe (from what I know it was huge in Poland at the least). And the stories I've read have been great so I don't mean to hate on his work or the original stuff.

I will just jump to defend CDProjekt personally because they are a really outstanding developer who is great to their fans, and I have been very happy to see them rewarded sales wise for their work.

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#39 Posted by gunflame88 (382 posts) -

I know for a fact that the books were a massive hit in Eastern Europe by the end of 90s. Meanwhile, at the time when the licensing deal was going down, Poland was not exactly known for quality video games. It's easy to see how he would misjudge the medium.

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#40 Posted by TehPickle (693 posts) -

Completely separate to the 'the games ruin my books' argument (which I believe to be utter bilge), Sapkowski always brings Roger Ebert to mind for me. He sounds like a man that's completely oblivious to the benefits that gaming can bring to the table, and has absolutely no interest in trying to understand what makes them so successful and cherished by so many, like the dictionary definition of 'out of touch old guy.'

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#41 Edited by EgonVonHolz (57 posts) -

To be fair to Andrzej Sapkowski, his witcher novels do tell a far better story than the games do. I say this having read all of the witcher books and having played 2 of the 3 witcher games (2 and 3). But then again, I doubt I'd have read the books if I hadn't been exposed to the witcher-franchise by the games as the witcher books were basically unknow in Germany before the games came out.

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#42 Posted by flameboy84 (893 posts) -

In some ways I see him having the same regret Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster did over the Superman rights (granted I know there are differences) but instead of pursuing legal action he would rather bad mouth the medium of games through bitterness. I guess though at least the creation of the Netflix show demonstrates how can still make money has he does own the world still.

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#43 Posted by OurSin_360 (6158 posts) -

Judging from what he said i would guess its neither, It seems to me he is angry people think the games made his books popular and not his writing. He seems to be an Allen Moore type, doesn't really like adaptations of his work but seems a bit more willing to take the money lol.

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#44 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1309 posts) -

@oursin_360: Yeah, I got an Alan Moore vibe from his comments as well.

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#45 Posted by Lazyimperial (486 posts) -

Well, the Witcher game franchise convinced me to buy the two short story collections and five full-fledged novels new on Amazon. Had these games not been made, those 7 purchases would not have happened and there'd be a few less dollars / euros / whatevs rattling around his coffers. I can understand that he might not be thrilled with the terms he agreed to, but:

A. There is no use crying over spilled milk. He had plenty of time to get appropriate legal counseling and make an informed decision. He apparently went for the short term choice and what's done is done on the game licensing front.

B. I'm some random dude from Ohio. I'm sure there are millions of people like me that also bought the books after the game. If he factored these purchases into his analysis of the game licensing deal, maybe he wouldn't be so miffed.

C. That Netflix series would not be getting made if not for the games. They made The Witcher a mainstream franchise. He should factor any revenues from the Netflix deal into his analysis of the game licensing deal. CD Projekt did right by him.

D. I think OurSin_360 hit the nail on the head with the Alan Moore comparison. Makes me a bit sad, though. Being crusty and embittered is no way to live.

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