Andrzej Sapkowski, the original author of the series of short stories and novels The Witcher games are based on has demanded £12 million in compensation from developer CD Projekt Red.
Sapkowski alleges that he’s owed additional royalties, but CD Projekt’s response – as reported by Kotaku – claims that the author expects royalties “beyond what had been contractually agreed upon between himself and the Company.”
CD Projekt Red shared details of Sapkowski’s claim in their own response, revealing that the author wants at least 6 percent of the profits that the developer gets from The Witcher games, and is seeking 60 million Polish Zlotys (over £12 million) in compensation.
Sapkowski’s camp says it’s “prepared to settle the matter in an amicable – and more importantly – expeditious and quiet manner.” Sapkowski is also willing to meet with the CD Projekt Red, provided it’s within 14 days.
For their part, CD Projekt Red has branded the claims as “groundless”. They say that the company “legitimately and legally acquired copyright to Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski’s work” to use in their Witcher trilogy.
Despite this, the developer wants to make an effort to resolve the dispute in any way they can, as a show of respect to the author who inspired the the video game series that catapulted CD Projekt Red to where they are today.
Sapkowski originally agreed to a one-time payment from the developer, instead of royalties from the game’s profits. The author later told Eurogamer this was a decision he regretted, explaining that he had no faith in the first Witcher game to even make a profit, and “couldn’t foresee their success.”
The Witcher franchise has since gone on to sell over 25 million copies worldwide, so you can see why the author might have some regrets. Hopefully he made a better deal with Netflix for their upcoming show.