The author of The Witcher series of short stories and novels has demanded further compensation from CD Projekt Red, the developers of the games based off of the novels.
Andrzej Sapkowski, who wrote The Witcher novels, is demanding six percent of the profits obtained by CD Projekt Red through the series. This amounts to 60 million Polish Zlotys (over 16 million USD). CD Projekt Red released a report on the situation, showing that the developer has received a demand for further payment from Sapkowski. The author expects additional royalties beyond what was originally agreed upon.
In a letter from Sapkowski, it was noted that the author wants to “settle the matter in an amicable – and more importantly – expeditious and quiet manner.” The letter states that Sapkowski’s party is willing to meet with CD Projekt Red as long as they reply in 14 days, and agree to meet by October 19th.
The letter claims that the original agreement only counts for the first Witcher title, and cites Article 44 of Poland’s Act on Copyright and Related Rights. It states: “In the event of gross discrepancy between the remuneration of the author and the benefits of the acquirer of the author’s economic rights or the licensee, the author may request the court for a due increase of his/her remuneration.”
CD Projekt Red calls these demands groundless, saying that they had legally obtained the copyright to Sapkowski’s work for use in games developed by them. Despite this, the studio has stated that they wish to maintain good relations with the authors that have inspired their games.
According to Eurogamer, Sapkowski agreed to a one time payment from the developer rather than royalties based on the game’s profits.
“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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