Almost five months after Andrzej Sapkowski, author of The Witcher book series, officially demanded royalties from CD Projekt Red for their blockbuster The Witcher video game series, the two parties have come to an agreement.
According to the Polish news outlet Puls Biznesu (via WCCFTech), the game developer has agreed to compensate Sapkowski for use of his characters and story for The Witcher video game series, specifically the immensely successful The Witcher III: Wild Hunt.
When Sapkowski sold the rights to the story and characters to CD Projekt Red back in 2000, he did so for a flat fee of roughly $9,350 simply due to the fact that he felt certain that their video game would not see substantial profit. The game developer was able to produce a successful video game trilogy as well as several spinoffs.
The third and final installment of the video game series, the aforementioned Witcher III: Wild Hunt, was released in 2015, sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and earned approximately $270 million in revenue in its first year, when it saw a dramatic rise in popularity. After the success of the video game was made clear, the author began publicly expressing regrets over the original deal, which lead to his demand for royalties of more than $16 million in October 2018. He based his claim on the idea that the original deal only applied to the first video game, The Witcher, which was released in 2007.
CD Projekt Red offered a detailed response, explaining the situation, defending their rights as the licensees of Sapkowski's fantasy world and characters while making clear their desire for an amicable resolution.
As of yet, few details have been released in regards to the specifics of the settlement other than the fact that Sapkowski will be receiving compensation, albeit far less than he initially demanded. Though CD Projekt Red's response made it clear that they saw Sapkowski's lawsuit essentially baseless, the developer agreed to settle out of respect and to avoid having a negative light cast on all parties involved.
Sapkowski is currently consulting on the upcoming Netflix series, The Witcher, created by Lauren S. Hissrich, starring Henry Cavill, based on the popular dark fantasy novel series.