Witcher Author Demands $16M In Royalties From CD Projekt Red Saying He Hasn't Been Fairly Compensated
CD Projekt Red willing to resolve things amicably, but likely not for that much money.
The wildly successful Witcher game series may have carved out a serious fanbase on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and other consoles, but it all began with a book series by Polish author Andrzey Sapkowski. Now, Sapkowski says he hasn't been fairly compensated for developer CD Projekt Red's use of his story, and he's asking for a considerable amount of money to make up for it.
Sapkowski's lawyers have given CD Projekt Red a legal demand for payment for $16 million (£12.4 million). While the studio says it "legitimately and legally acquired" the rights to use The Witcher's story, Sapkowski insists he's entitled more because of the Polish Act on Copyright and Related Rights. Sapkowski's lawyers say it "may be invoked when the compensation remitted to the author is too low given the benefits obtained in association with the use of that author's work." Essentially, because The Witcher is so successful (now even spawning an upcoming TV show starring Henry Cavill), Sapkowski feels he's legally entitled to more compensation than he received.
While it's not a lawsuit (yet), there is indication Sapkowski could turn this into one if CD Projekt Red doesn't come through. Meanwhile, the company said on its website that it was committed to keeping good relations with the authors of works that have inspired its 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," the studio added, also suggesting the $16 million sum is simply too much money.
There are no further details at this point, but be sure to follow GameSpot for any updates. In other Witcher news, a spin-off RPG called Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC via GOG later this month. The new game focuses on Meve, a queen of Lyria and Rivia, who is forced to go to war because of an impending Nilfgaardian invasion. The title is being described as a narrative-driven game with puzzles and card battle mechanics, similar to Gwent, and was was first announced as the single-player component for Gwent. It launches on October 23.
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