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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher author: The "games began to spoil my market"

Andrzej Sapkowski claims the books made the games popular in the West.

  • Text: Sam Bishop

Most of us know The Witcher as a series of video games produced by Polish studio CD Projekt Red, but these were based on a series on novels by author Andrzej Sapkowski, and in a recent discussion with Waypoint, he claims that the games have lost him book sales, not driven them.

"I have nothing against the game itself. I think it's a high-level product. All the benefits CDPR received for it are absolutely well-earned. I have nothing against video games in general. I have nothing against the people who play them, even if I don't and never will," Sapkowski says. "The whole animosity started when the game began to spoil my market."

"I wrote the first Witcher story 30 years ago," he explains. "When I come to my author meetings, there's no one in the audience close to my age. I am 69. There's no one. Kids everywhere. How are some of them supposed to know - especially in Germany, Spain or the US - that my books are not game related? That I'm not writing books based on games? They may not know that, and CDPR bravely conceals the game's origins. It's written in fine print, you need a microscope to see it, that the game is 'based on' [my books]."

"The belief, widely spread by CDPR, that the games made me popular outside of Poland is completely false. I made the games popular. All of my translations in the West—including the English one—were published before the first game."

In the same piece by Waypoint, though, author of the Metro series Dmitry Glukhovsky had strong words to say about these claims by Sapkowski. "I think that he's totally wrong, and that he's an arrogant mother******," he said. "Without the gaming franchise, the Witcher series would never get this crazy international readership that it has. And it's not just about the gamers but the gaming press and the buzz it creates, and just the feeling of something great and massive and impressive coming out. This got people hooked. He would remain a local Eastern European phenomenon without this, but he would never break into the West. And the same goes for my Metro books."

So it seems like the two authors disagree on the matter then. What are your thoughts on Sapkowski's claims?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt