The Witcher 3 Sales Skyrocketed Last December, Thanks to the Netflix Show

The Witcher 3 Sales Skyrocketed Last December, Thanks to the Netflix Show

The show and new Switch port boosted US sales 554% over last year.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt came out back in May 2015, far closer to the beginning of this current console generation than the end of it. It's rare for a triple-A title like that to see a massive uptick in sales so long after its release, even for a title as critically acclaimed as The Witcher 3. The extra attention of a Netflix adaptation, it seems, drove people to the Wild Hunt in droves.

The NPD Group reports that sales for The Witcher 3 leapt up 554 percent year-over-year in December 2019, a boost that was surely helped by the buzzy premiere of Netflix's The Witcher on December 20, 2019. In fairness, that figure includes sales of the Switch port, but even with those removed The Witcher 3 still sold 63 percent more copies across PS4, Xbox One, and PC than it did a year earlier.

This aligns with some other evidence pointing to a Netflix-aided surge of popularity for The Witcher games. Shortly after the show's release, The Witcher 3 reached a new all-time peak concurrent player count on Steam, and the modding scene for CD Projekt Red's series has been revitalized with fan creations that mix elements from the show into the games.

NPD's sales data also points to a surge in sales of creator Andrej Sapkowski's Witcher books, upon which the separate adaptations of the games and show are based. With the assistance of a new TV tie-in printing of The Last Wish, a collection of short story prequels to the main book series, revenue from the books rose 562 percent in the same period relative to 2018.

In other words, whether they were revisiting an old favorite on the Switch, trying the books out of a love for one of the series' adaptations, or even trying an RPG for the first time, tons of people tossed a coin to The Witcher franchise in December.

As for Netflix's show itself, the streaming giant says that 76 million households watched at least 2 minutes of The Witcher within its first month of release. While that surely means millions of those viewers never even finished the first episode, Netflix is putting resources behind it like it's the next big thing: a second season has been greenlit, and an animated tie-in film starring Vesemir will be released later this year.

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Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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