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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » CD Projekt RED - What Andrzej Sapkowski Thinks about the Games @ Eurogamer

Default CD Projekt RED - What Andrzej Sapkowski Thinks about the Games @ Eurogamer

November 9th, 2012, 23:38
I honestly completely fail to see why people are so upset…
He clearly states that he's not interested in games - that's hardly something to be insulted by, especially since he did allow his work to be used regardless, a move that benefited not only him but CDP and us as well! - he still diplomatically states that "The Witcher' is a well made video game, its success is well deserved and the creators deserve all the splendour and honour due", that "it is obvious that it had a positive impact on the interest of foreign publications and the number of translations" and that "neither the game or, God forbid, its creators can, of course, be blamed" for any negative effects. Where is the complain? He just wants his books to be his own personal work and that's absolutely his right. Do you just want him to disregard his own ideas and merely serve CDP from now on? How much ass kissing do people want in order to be contented?

"I am not interested in good; I am interested in new, even if this includes the possibility of it's being evil"
(LaMonte Young, 1962)
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November 10th, 2012, 08:28
I believe you are trying to imply something based on what some of us have said that we never intended to say.

I can't say why the others became upset, or how much ass kissing people want. I can say and have said why it is bugging me in my previous post. I never thought he should kiss any asses. I do not mean to say he should have outright abandoned his ideas and became a writer for CDP. However, he did agree to the developer having all the freedom they wanted in his universe, he did not agree to "well you can do what you want, and it's very good I'm sure (tho' I don't consider video games anything worthwile), but if I have them whim, I'll just say you are constricting my artistic rights and retcon the whole thing into an alternate universe".

Now I ain't a stranger to writing, or including others in a creative process where your own creation is the basis. I gotta say, when you agree to something like he did, and even have a legal part of that agreement, you don't back out later. No sir. It is just tasteless, there's no honor to it. The only justification would be if you had been lied to or bobbed, and now they are perverting your work into something you hate or cannot identify with anymore. It ain't the case here, considering how the developer took large pains to preserve the tone, details, and message of Sapkowski's world (I'd even go as far to say that the angst about the Witcher games being harder to access and a bit slow on the start is the direct result of the loyal and uncompromising interpretation of the Witcher universe).
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November 10th, 2012, 12:52
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
I don't understand his attitude. Many gamers have got to know his wonderfull books because of witcher series. Shouldn't he be even a tiny bit gratefull for that?
This sounds to me like :

"We did a kind of free advertisement for you, why aren't you greateful ???"

No. He is just independent. Nothing more, nothing less.

He is as independent as a farmer growing his own vegetables is - in my example - independent from grocery stores for buying food.

They might sell an amount/a part of his homegrown vegetables, but he still grows the far greater part for his on food - in this sense he is still independent, although a fan of his sold vegetablesmight say : "The grocery store mde you much ore known - why aren't you grateful for that ?" He just doesn't want to. He grows his own food and he is just content with that.

My biggest fear - as an author - would be giving out a license for film-making, game-making etc. . Simple because nowdays this means : "we pay you money for the liense AND WE CAN DO ANYTHING WE WANT WITH THAT MUAHAHAHA !!!"

That's how Hollywood and the Games industry too often work like. Sad.

One example of The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander.
The Disney movie was just a mixture of several components from his books, put together on a string to make a story out of it, nohing more. And one of the main background figures just isn't there.

A recent similar case is How To Train Your Dragon - a wonderful movie, even "blessed" by the author - but it has NOTHING to all to do with the real books !

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 10th, 2012, 15:23
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
My biggest fear - as an author - would be giving out a license for film-making, game-making etc. . Simple because nowdays this means : "we pay you money for the liense AND WE CAN DO ANYTHING WE WANT WITH THAT MUAHAHAHA !!!"

That's how Hollywood and the Games industry too often work like. Sad.
Except that it's not what CD Project have done with Witcher licence. You might not be familiar with Sapkowski's books but CD Project certainly can't be accused of doing harm to Witcher's universe.
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November 11th, 2012, 18:33
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
This sounds to me like :

"We did a kind of free advertisement for you, why aren't you greateful ???"

No. He is just independent. Nothing more, nothing less.

He is as independent as a farmer growing his own vegetables is - in my example - independent from grocery stores for buying food.

They might sell an amount/a part of his homegrown vegetables, but he still grows the far greater part for his on food - in this sense he is still independent, although a fan of his sold vegetablesmight say : "The grocery store mde you much ore known - why aren't you grateful for that ?" He just doesn't want to. He grows his own food and he is just content with that.

My biggest fear - as an author - would be giving out a license for film-making, game-making etc. . Simple because nowdays this means : "we pay you money for the liense AND WE CAN DO ANYTHING WE WANT WITH THAT MUAHAHAHA !!!"

That's how Hollywood and the Games industry too often work like. Sad.
Being independent or not, He sold those rights to cd project red willingly. Fact number two: Cd Project didn't rape his work with the license. On the contrary they took great care that the games were coherent and in-line with Sapkowski's own work. Cd Project Red could have just acted like Disney, but they didn't.

Besides this wasn't the first time Sapkowski had sold witcher rights. These books had been already adapted into a movie and television series and even into a graphic novel series. So its not like he didn't know what he was doing when he signed the contract.

Secondly not cd-project, fans or even some evil publisher is asking him to alter his work to match with witcher games. He can still write independently what ever he wants and he can still change geralt's character as much as he wants. Like he said these are not sequels to books. So please stop victimising him.

I just don't understand why he has to be such a dick? Who do you think buys his books? Its not like these audiences are entirely different. Many fantasy readers also like fantasy rpgs. I get that he doesn't understand video games and he is not even willing to familiarize himself with the videogames. Yet he openly sneers at video games as medium of storytelling. Thats arrogant towards cd project red people and Witcher fans (same people who admire his work).
Last edited by Dez; November 12th, 2012 at 01:25.
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November 12th, 2012, 09:44
I don't get upset over things like this.

I simply think he's completely ignorant about games, and as such - it would suit him to stop talking about them from a position of authority. I feel the same way when they ask Ebert about games as art. The guy knows nothing and has nothing to base his opinion on - or next to nothing.

If you want to ask an opinion about games - then get someone who knows what he or she is talking about.

I doubt he played more than 5 minutes of The Witcher. Even an experienced gamer would have little of value to offer about the game after 5 minutes.

That's really all I'm saying.
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November 12th, 2012, 14:11
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I simply think he's completely ignorant about games, and as such - it would suit him to stop talking about them from a position of authority.
I think he's right in his position of authority :

- his books are somewhat popular (I really don't know in how far in East Europe)
- the games wouln't exist without his books.

And furthermore, they have asked him. Should he just have responded with "no comment" ?

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 12th, 2012, 14:16
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I think he's right in his position of authority :

- his books are somewhat popular (I really don't know in how far in East Europe)
- the games wouln't exist without his books.

And furthermore, they have asked him. Should he just have responded with "no comment" ?
I'm not asking him to say anything - I'm just responding with what I think would suit him.

He could have simply said: "I don't really know anything about games, and I have no interest in changing that based on what I've seen."

That would suffice, for my part.

No, he has no authority in terms of giving an informed opinion about games as a medium for storytelling. He hasn't got the first clue about that subject.
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November 12th, 2012, 14:16
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
Being independent or not, He sold those rights to cd project red willingly.
That still won't keep companies from doing with the license what they want to.

Many fantasy readers also like fantasy rpgs.
I doubt so. I knowquite a lot of fantasy book readers who don't use a PC (or a console) for playing at all.

Maybe your impression is slightly distorted because in the internet the percentage of video gmes players is significantly higher than outside of the internet - and we do discuss this matter in internet forums here.

I really don't know much about East Europe, but you cannot say for example american culture = eastern european culture, especially in terms of gaming. It might be that video games just aren't that common in eastern europe than they are in western europe or overseas.

I really don't klnow, but we should be aware of the danger of saying : this is so in my area, so it will be very likely like this in another area, too.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 12th, 2012, 14:21
I wonder how many people outside Poland even heard of Andrzej Sapkowski before the games…

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November 12th, 2012, 14:22
I certainly hadn't heard of him.
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November 12th, 2012, 15:32
He's just jealous because we all got to have our way with Triss. She's not his little girl anymore Of course, Triss is really a centuries old hag, who just makes herself look like a little hottie, but who cares?
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November 12th, 2012, 17:13
Originally Posted by bloodlover View Post
I wonder how many people outside Poland even heard of Andrzej Sapkowski before the games…
I had never heard of him or knew there were even books until recently.

IMO his opinion doesn't matter at all. He chose to let them make the game. He could have said no or insisted he be involved in the story making process to insure it stayed true to his vision.

He did neither so too bad for him.
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November 13th, 2012, 08:42
Originally Posted by bloodlover View Post
I wonder how many people outside Poland even heard of Andrzej Sapkowski before the games…
His novels(part of them) were translated to french before the release of the games and he was know of fantasy readers. The video games release allowed a new edition of his works though, more complete.

In Germany, he must have been known also by people interested in fantasy.
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November 13th, 2012, 09:00
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
Being independent or not, He sold those rights to cd project red willingly. Fact number two: Cd Project didn't rape his work with the license. On the contrary they took great care that the games were coherent and in-line with Sapkowski's own work. Cd Project Red could have just acted like Disney, but they didn't.

Besides this wasn't the first time Sapkowski had sold witcher rights. These books had been already adapted into a movie and television series and even into a graphic novel series. So its not like he didn't know what he was doing when he signed the contract.

Secondly not cd-project, fans or even some evil publisher is asking him to alter his work to match with witcher games. He can still write independently what ever he wants and he can still change geralt's character as much as he wants. Like he said these are not sequels to books. So please stop victimising him.

I just don't understand why he has to be such a dick? Who do you think buys his books? Its not like these audiences are entirely different. Many fantasy readers also like fantasy rpgs. I get that he doesn't understand video games and he is not even willing to familiarize himself with the videogames. Yet he openly sneers at video games as medium of storytelling. Thats arrogant towards cd project red people and Witcher fans (same people who admire his work).
I failed to see where he contested the sales of rights.

He simply stated that he did not want to participate in the elaboration of the video game writing because books are still the medium of reference to tell a story (and I'd add video games are a poor medium to convey a scripted story) and he does not believe in the mixing of media. He is for sure grounded in reality on this point.

Consequently, his elaboration on the witcher's story can not be tied to the witcher's games as it would subordinate a superior medium (book) to an inferior medium (video games)

The guy has consistency and is not ready to compromize. His way of being. Nothing wrong in it.

Cant see him contesting the rights' sales. He took the required steps for not getting his work polluted by the video game extension.

He sees video games for what they are: an inferior conduit to storytell scripted narratives. Factual point. He did not want to mingle in the writings of video games due on that point (and he kept to his words) He preserved himself from being influenced by not learning of the content of the game. He acts accordingly.

I fail to see how selling rights of his story should prevent him from doing everything he is does.

He sold the rights, the studio is licensed to developp an alternative version of the witcher universe. And he let them act that way by interacting minimally with the studio. Save he signed somewhere that the developpment of the alternative version should be canon and that he, as an author, should include them in every next book to be written, the rights have no bearings.

Selling the rights or not wont change that video games are a weaker medium to tell a scripted story than a book is. And that writers interested in telling stories might prefer to use the stronger medium to achieve their goals.
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