Update April 18, 2017: It’s no secret that Andrzej Sapkowski doesn’t much like videogames, as you can read about in our original story below. In a recent Waypoint interview, he reiterated that stance. “A video game serves a different purpose,” Sapkowski says. “It works differently. How much substance can there be in the lines of text when the hero walks through the woods and talks to a squirrel? Where’s the literature in that? Where’s the room for depth or sophisticated language with which games could elevate culture? There’s none.”
Sapkowski sold The Witcher license to CD Projekt Red for a big bag of money, but he doesn’t believe the games have helped the popularity of his books much outside of Poland. He says he is “not denying that the game in some capacity might have boosted sales”, but he thinks it all balances out in the end. “I think the result would be about equal, yes,” he says. “If anything, there are more people who have played the games because they read the books. That’s my count, but I’m not sure. I never did any studies.”
Whatever his rea$ons, it meant we got another game for our list of the best RPGs on PC.
Elsewhere, the Russian writer behind the Metro series of books, Dmitry Glukhovsky, completely understands the power of videogames. Glukhovsky thinks they can tell meaningful stories, and he’s completely aware of how much they have helped along his post-apocalyptic universe, which itself began as a self-published piece of fiction on the internet, until 4A Games came along with an interest in adapting it for a videogame.
“I think that he’s totally wrong, and that he’s an arrogant motherf****r,” says Glukhovsky in response to comments made by Sapkowski. “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.”
Original Story March 24, 2017: The creator of The Witcher, Andrzej Sapkowski, doesn’t have much love for videogames. When CD Projekt Red came knocking at his door with an offer of money in exchange for licensing, he took it, but it wasn’t out of a passion for the medium.
“Well they brought a big bag of money,” Sapkowski told Eurogamer in an interview. “What I expect from an adaptation: a big bag of money. That is all.
“I agreed they would write a completely new story using my characters, my ontology of this crazy world. But they would create completely new stories. I said, ‘Why not? Please, please, show how good you are.'”
Sapkowski viewed videogames as “stupid” and he didn’t think CD Projekt’s adaptation would amount to much. He was even offered a share of the profits, which would have netted him a lot of money over the years, but he turned the offer down.
“I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch,” he 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.”
And what a success it was. In fact, it got to the point where, outside of Poland, The Witcher was more well-known as a series of games. Additionally, English publishers altered book blurbs and art to match the games. “It was f***ing bad for me,” commented Sapkowski.
Read the full interview at Eurogamer.