Metro 2033 Author Calls The Witcher’s Andrzej Sapkowski An “Old Fool”

Metro 2033 Author Calls The Witcher’s Andrzej Sapkowski An “Old Fool”

Oh my! It seems two experts of the written word will have a war of words of their own. The first shot comes from Dmitry Glukhovsky, author of the Metro 2033 series of novels. Glukhovsky slammed the author of The Witcher series, Andrzej Sapkowski, for the latter’s recent demand of $16 million from CD Projekt Red. Among the criticisms Glukhovsky dished out were that the brains behind The Witcher novels was an “old fool” and that he’s “an ungrateful schmuck.” The video interview below is entirely in Russian but we’ll give a short transcript of the juicy bits.

Woe For The Witcher

Sapkowski came to national prominence back in 1993 when The Last Wish novel was released. It was the first of many novels that formed The Witcher Saga. While the books attained a cult-like following in his native country of Poland and in parts of Eastern Europe, it never actually became part of global pop culture until CD Projekt Red adapted his works into their Witcher series of video games.

The Witcher eventually became CDPR’s flagship franchise with the third game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt considered as a masterpiece in gaming circles. Since then, gamers, journalists, and industry personnel have hotly anticipated CD Projekt Red’s offerings such as Gwent and Thronebreaker, and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. Geralt’s adventures will also be adapted into a show by Netflix with Sapkowski joining that endeavor as a creative consultant. That’s all thanks to CDPR’s Witcher games.

There’s just one problem: he hasn’t earned jack squat from the success of these games. That’s because, if past news stories are to be believed, CD Projekt Red acquired the rights to The Witcher series for a paltry lump sum of $10,000. That’s led Sapkowski to demand $16 million in additional compensation from CDPR.

Metro 2033 Glukhovsky Vs Sapkowski The Witcher Author

Metro 2033 Author Will Be Earning Until 2033

In contrast to Sapkowski’s ill-advised decision, Dmitry Glukhovsky, the Metro 2033 series author seems to be more business savvy.  In an interview with Vice last year, Glukhovsky has recognized the importance of the Metro 2033 video games to promote his literary works. He released the first Metro novel, for free, when he was 17. It was subsequently picked up by developer 4A Games and he’s had a good relationship with them over the course of many projects. Glukhovsky also criticized Sapkowski’s relationship with CDPR in the past:

“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 [Sapkowski] 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.”

Fast forward to the present day and Glukhovsky, in that video interview you see up top, doubled down by saying that Sapkowski “fucked up” with his CDPR deal. Glukhovsky also cited that the only reason The Witcher’s writer is pursuing legal action is because:

“His wife is nagging him about it in the evenings, and then he tries to roll it back.”

Damn! Glukhovsky might’ve been born in June, but you know his sign is “Igni” because that was one helluva burn! He also warned Sapkowski that it might be a bad idea to push through with a lawsuit since Netflix could suddenly back out of whatever arrangement they have with him. However, in the end, the mind behind Metro 2033 did feel sorry for Sapkowski stating:

“He is just an elderly man, he missed his chance, and well, what can you do?”

What do our readers think about this war of words between two authors whose works have been adapted into popular games? Should Sapkowski find some semblance of satisfaction seeing The Witcher’s success? Or is Metro 2033’s Glukhovsky in the right here?


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  • Jrodriguezwp

    I’m a small business owner who’s also writing on the side, contributing in various websites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella — Destructoid, Flixist, Daily Esports, PlayStation Enthusiast, and PC Invasion.
    My Steam library has 1,131 games at the moment so we definitely have a lot of things to talk about.

    • User

      Dmitry isn’t wrong… bad choices you signed off on must be lived with.

      I’d have taken less money up front for a percentage of profits for a net gain either way. Such is life…

    • Chris Skuller

      If I understand things right, Sapkowski was offered a percentage in the original contract, but he turned it down and instead asked for everything up front. If this is indeed true, I don’t understand what leg he could possibly stand on in court. His best bet would be to ride this Witcher trend as far as it goes. Make money off a new book, a movie, or the Netflix series. But the games… that train has sailed.

    • Kate

      Yeah, he believed the game will be a flop, because the local TV series and movie and earlier game attempt were flops. So he demanded cash up front. I pity the guy, but he sure as hell doesn’t deserve 16mil. Come on. CDPR has went through a lot on their side to make it work and promote the world. No thanks to our gov, either. Mr S. should stop trying to kill the franchise.

    • Doomguy – [email protected]

      Well he is an old fool, but deserves the money. They will come to an agreement that’s for sure.

      • SmegmaTasteTest

        He doesn’t deserve anything but what he agreed to take in the initial agreement. If I sold you an idea for a song for $50 and you turned it into a $1,000,000 album with 9 other songs on it I don’t deserve $99,950 more.

        • Doomguy – [email protected]

          Yeah, but it wouldn’t look good. Ol’ grumpy man, give him his share. End of story.

          • SmegmaTasteTest

            He got his share, he needs to move on.

            • Doomguy – [email protected]

              I don’t get it why people have such a strong opinion about this matter. If I would be CDPR I would have made sure that a certain percentage of profit is separated for the guy, no matter what the agreements say. In essence the Witcher’s creator and CDPR live in symbiosis, so why neuter one of them?

              • tatzuk

                They offered a percentage initially, but the author was a dick and had 0% confidence in the success of the games so he chose a one time payment instead. A poor choice of investment caused by his own arrogance. He knows that himself, but can’t move on so he deserves to suffer in regret for the rest of his life.

      • Jason Rodriguez

        I partly agree with this although I disagree with how Sapkowski’s handled the situation. He’s in his 70s and CDPR is a well known company in the gaming industry. Ideally, he could’ve simply gone through some back channels to earn a monthly stipend or an additional lump sum if need be. Sort of like: “Look fellas, I’m old, throw the dog a bone will ya? I wrote those books anyway.”

        But turning into a grumpy fella at this day and age, clamoring for legal action — while being lambasted by Glukhovsky (who’s essentially had a better understanding of gaming as a medium) — does not do Sapkowski any favors at all.

        • Doomguy – [email protected]

          He is old, he won’t change. Let him have the prostitutes till the end of his life :D. Btw I don’t know why Glukhovsky is running his mouth?! Wtf asked him?

    • Erik

      I hope he doesnt get anything for what he did. HE sold out to ((netflix)) he just gave his life work to be butchered. I hope he dies soon.