We've mentioned in the past how The Witcher rights were acquired by the developers at CD Projekt Red for a low price. But we didn't know just how low…until now.
Rumors online indicated that the author of the series, Andrzej Sapkowski, sold the rights for a low price of $4,000. These have since been denied, but a new report filed by NeoGAF indicated that the rights weren't actually sold for too much higher than that. According to what it says, Sapkowski sold the license to the developers at CD Projekt Red for 35,000 PLN, paid across two installments of 15,000 PLN and 20,000 PLN. The NeoGAF user noted that it translates to just under $10,000, around $9,500.
Consider that. The series has since become an instant best seller, with Wild Hunt clearing millions of units sold by itself since its release, and even performing well in 2017. Sapkowski, had he worked out more of an arrangement, could've ended up making a whole lot more than that.
To further confirm the report, former CD Projekt RED boss Sebastian Zielinksi noted on Facebook that this was pretty much confirmed, since he apparently still has a copy of the first draft of the contract with him, despite the fact he's no longer with the company.
Apparently, Sapkowski chose to reject the first draft because of the way that Geralt's name was spelled…it was spelled out Gerald. Obviously, though, this was quickly remedied, and the author eventually sold the rights.
CD Projekt RED easily cleaned up on the deal, though Sapkowski still hasn't said anything officially, so it's still just a possibility at this point. Regardless, if only usual game companies could get their hands on such rights for a rather affordable price.
That's okay, though, as Sapkowski is no doubt laughing his way to the bank with a deal for a new Netflix series underway, which will be based more on the books rather than the hit games – though the producers have noted they made take some inspirations from CD Projekt RED's work. We shall see soon enough.