Despite both The Witcher novels and the video game series being an international success, it seems there isn't much love lost between the author of the books, Andrzej Sapkowski, and game developer CD Projekt Red.
In a recent interview with Waypoint, Sapkowski spoke bluntly about his relationship with the Polish studio and the video game adaptations they're responsible for.
According to the author, who wrote his first Witcher story in 1986 -- over two decades before CD Projekt Red released their digital reimagining -- he doesn't owe the games industry anything.
He suggests that in many ways the success of CD Projekt's trilogy has actually hurt him, and believes that for every reader he's gained thanks to those games, he's lost another in the process. In fact, he claims CD Projekt actually owes its success to him.
"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," he tells Waypoint, before explaining why he doesn't put much stock in games.
"A video game serves a different purpose. 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's issues with CD Projekt don't end there. The writer claims the studio has done its best to hide The Witcher's true literary origins -- although he admits that the game itself is a "high-level product" that's impressive in its own right.
"The belief, widely spread by CDPR, that the games made me popular outside of Poland is completely false. I made the games popular. All of my translations in the west were published before the first game," he continues, bemoaning the fact that his readership is now dominated by young fans of the video game series.
"I wrote the first Witcher story 30 years ago. When I come to my author meetings, there's no one in the audience close to my age. I am 69. There's no one. Kids everywhere. How are some of them supposed to know that my books are not game related?
"That I'm not writing books based on games? They may not know that, and CDPR bravely conceals the game's origins. It's written in fine print, you need a microscope to see it, that the game is 'based on' [my books]."
To hear more from Sapkowski, and to catch 'Metro 2033' author Dmitry Glukhovsky's spirited rebuttal, check out the full interview over on Waypoint.