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CD Projekt Red Offers Additional Compensation to ‘Witcher’ Writer

CD Projekt Red has offered additional payment to The Witcher books writer, Andrzej Sapkowski, Pulz Biznesu reported Monday.

The undisclosed amount paid is likely less than the $16.1 million Sapkowski demanded last year, but more than the original $9,350 that the author received from the video game publisher to make the first game, according to Pulz Biznesu (translated by WCCFTech).

While we don’t know how much the new payment is, the report is that the two parties have reached an “amicable settlement.”

Sapkowski, a Polish author whose first Witcher Saga book was published in 1994 (Blood of Elves), somewhat reluctantly agreed to allow his series to be the basis for 2007’s “The Witcher” which had the same characters, including Geralt, but completely new stories. He took a flat fee of a relatively small amount (though Sapkowski told Eurogamer he agreed because “they brought a big bag of money!”) in return for the rights to adaptation.

After the success of “The Witcher” series (most recently, 2015’s “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”) the original creator of the saga demanded $16.1 million from CD Projekt Red last year, arguing that the agreement only held up for the first game, and did not apply to the succeeding games in the series. That calculation came from a demand of at least 6% of the profits made from the series.

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“The company had legitimately and legally acquired copyright to Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski’s work, i.a. insofar as is required for its use in games developed by the company. All liabilities payable by the company in association therewith have been properly discharged,” CD Projekt Red responded to the demands in a letter.

“It is the company’s will to maintain good relations with authors of works which have inspired CD Projekt Red’s own creations. Consequently, the Board will go to great lengths to ensure amicable resolution of this dispute; however, any such resolution must be respectful of previously expressed intents of both parties, as well as existing contracts.”

As Sapkowski explained it, he wanted a flat fee when he was approached back in the early 2000s because he didn’t think the game would be a success.

“I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch,” Sapkowski told Eurogamer in an interview. “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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