The Witcher rights could have been yours for as little as $9,500

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The Witcher is a cult classic series dating back to the 1980s

A little investment goes a long way

Have you ever wanted to buy something amazing, but thought, nah, that would be way too much money? Well you could have missed out on some great opportunities. It has recently been revealed that the rights to The Witcher video games were sold for just under $9,500 which is hardly anything when you think about how much money this franchise has made.

Haven’t heard of The Witcher? Here’s a recap

The Witcher started off as a short fantasy series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski about a monster hunter known as Geralt of Rivia. It is set on The Continent and has references to all your standard fantasy lore: elves, werewolves, vampires, gnomes, dwarves, and humans. The story was first run in the 1980’s in a fantasy magazine and was later made into a series of short stories in the 1990s.

Comic books, a 2001 film, a 2002 tv series, tabletop roleplaying games, card games, and a board game developed out of Sapkowski’s original story. To say The Witcher was popular would be an understatement. The appeal is likely from Geralt, who was based off the ideal Polish neo-liberal anti-politics persona of the 1990s, making him a familiar archetype for the modern era.

It’s no wonder that with all the hype about The Witcher that it was made into a video game. After a first attempt in the late 90s to bring the game to life as a 3D action adventure was abandoned, a small Polish game development company sought interest in it in the mid noughties. CD Projekt Red bought the rights from Sapkowski in 2007 and set about developing one of the most successful game series to come out of Poland.

When a $9,500 investment pays off - big time

Rumours began circulating a couple of weeks ago that the rights to make a video game were originally sold in the late 90s for approximately $4,000. While there has been no official confirmation from Sapkowski on the matter, the former CEO of Projekt Red Sebastian Zielinski has commented on a Facebook post boasting that when he made the agreement in 2007, the rights were bought for £9,500, and he has a copy of the original agreement to support his claim.

For a small game development company’s first game, this was a relatively low output. They worked tirelessly and have since delivered three installments of The Witcher saga. Most recently, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was released in 2015 and has sold more than 25 million copies, garnering the company nearly $67 million in the last two years alone. I would say they have more than made back their initial investment.

And never fear for poor Sapkowski, he has recently sold his rights again, this time to create a television series to be produced and aired on Netflix.

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