‘The Witcher’ scribe wants CD Projekt Red to fork over $16 million in royalties

romantic video games the witcher 3

The author of The Witcher book series has threatened CD Projekt Red with a lawsuit if the studio doesn’t pay him more money. Andrzej Sapkowski has demanded up to $16.1 million in royalties from CD Projekt Red (via Kotaku).

Sapkowski’s lawyers told CD Projekt Red that Polish copyright laws, specifically Article 44, prove that the author is owed royalties based on the fact that the video game series has outperformed expectations. In turn, the original amount Sapkowski was paid for the license is no longer sufficient under the law, according to Sapkowski’s lawyers.

CD Projekt Red acknowledged the public demand with a statement denying that it owes Sapkowski additional compensation. “In the Company’s opinion the demands expressed in the notice are groundless with regard to their merit as well as the stipulated amount,” CD Projekt Red wrote.

It’s unclear how much Sapkowski was initially paid for the license. He sold the license to CD Projekt Red in the early 2000s for a flat fee. In 2017, Sapkowski told Eurogamer his reasoning behind taking a flat fee. The author didn’t expect the games to take off, so he went with a one-time payment rather than receiving royalties.

“I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch,” Sapkowski said. “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.”

Though he described the payment as a “big bag of money,” it’s obvious that he doesn’t believe that to be the case now given the success of the series.

While the first two games in The Witcher series were merely modest successes, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt became a smash hit following its 2015 launch. By the end of 2017, the series had sold 33 million copies worldwide, anchored by massive sales numbers for the brilliant conclusion to the trilogy.

The first Witcher novel, The Last Wish, was released in Polish in 1993. The book series didn’t start appearing in English until 2007, the same year the first game launched. Season of Storms, the eighth book in the series, released earlier this year in English.

As you can probably tell, the video game series has undoubtedly helped Sapkowski gain a wider audience. Additionally, a live action Netflix series starring Henry Cavill is in the works.

Sapkowski’s lawyers have given CD Projekt Red until October 19 to start negotiating royalty payments.

Emerging Tech

Scientists investigate how massive stars die in dramatic hypernova events

Our Sun will gradually fade before expanding into a red giant at the end of its life. But larger mass stars undergo extreme explosive events called hypernovas when they die which outshine their entire galaxies.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Gaming

Fortnite V-Bucks being used by criminals for money laundering on dark web

Criminals are using Fortnite's V-Bucks for money laundering schemes on the dark web. Epic Games, apparently, is not doing enough to prevent the game from being used for the illegal activity.
Gaming

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

Goodbye, Machinima: YouTube gaming channel pulls the plug after 13 years

Machinima, a YouTube gaming channel that was launched in 2006, has suddenly shut down, with all of its videos set to private. The #RIPMachinima hashtag is now making the rounds in social media to reminisce about the channel's content.
Gaming

Overkill’s ‘The Walking Dead’ delayed indefinitely for PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Overkill's The Walking Dead for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been postponed without a new release date. The co-op zombie shooter suffered massive delays, then received lukewarm reviews once it launched for the PC through Steam.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.