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Two European authors who managed to have their books turned into blockbuster million-selling games have two very different outlooks on the success of their titles, and one of them had some harsh words for the other.
VG 24/7 is reporting that the author of the Metro series, Dmitry Glukhovsky, had some unkind words to spare for the author of The Witcher series, Andrzej Sapkowski. The writer of The Witcher made some bold claims in an interview stating that the game series didn't help much with the popularity of his novels, and that the sales of the books may have even been negatively impacted by the game.
He also goes on to say that the novels released in America are what made the Witcher video game trilogy from CD Projekt Red popular, even though the books weren't translated until after the game series came about. Sapkowski states...
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.
VG 24/7 wisely points out the dates at which the books were translated into English. The original Witcher launched back in 2006 while the first book wasn't translated for a North American release until 2007, a whole year later. The second book didn't arrive until 2008. An argument could be made that the books helped with the mind-share to boost sales for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, but the books were rarely ever mentioned as a tie-in to the marketing of the game, and even less so with The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.
The Metro 2033 author wasn't having any of it. Glukhovsky was rather peeved at his peer's crass take on the gaming industry and its effect (or lack thereof) on the sales of other entertainment mediums, such as novels. According to Glukhovsky...
I think that [Sapkowski]'s totally wrong, and that he's an arrogant motherfucker.
Well there you have it, Glukhovsky went all Samuel L. Jackson on the Polish author.
Previous to this particular interview, Sapkowski had mentioned to Eurogamer that he had no real dealings with the design, story or development of The Witcher games at CD Projekt Red. Instead, he asked for a "big bag of money" and that was it. He took it and ran. His only major regret was that he didn't sign a royalties deal for the books, because he didn't think that The Witcher games would sell much at all. He had no faith in his own property.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Glukhovsky was a lot more thankful of Metro 2033 developer 4A Games for taking his work seriously, and adding a different kind of take on his survival-horror novel.
It's weird because the author who doesn't care about games had his series turned into one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. The author who does care about games also had a successful series of games, but the franchise is currently on hiatus following the bankruptcy of the original publisher, THQ.
Well, on the upside, at least Glukhovsky managed to get the last laugh with a memorable dig at his rival.