Andrej Sapkowski, the author of The Witcher novels, has a history of being blunt about his views on adaptations of his work. With Netflix touting the success of its show and the CD Projekt Red's Witcher games experiencing a related boost in popularity, you might think Sapkowski would warm up to either endeavor or want to share some thoughts on how the two stack up. Not so-he still isn't interested in video games, and he believes that games and TV "cannot be compared."
"I cannot compare anything to video games, because I have never played any," Sapkowski tells io9 in a new interview. He's been open about his lack of interest in the medium before, but when asked by io9 to talk about the games in relation to Netflix's new show, he again offers that games simply aren't his thing before adding that he thinks they're also too dissimilar from TV to make a meaningful comparison:
Since I was a kid I haven't played any games-with a possible exception of bridge and poker. Video games are simply not for me, I prefer books as entertainment. Anyway, in my opinion TV series and video games-any of them-cannot be compared. They are too different in approach, making-and objective. You cannot compare spaghetti carbonara with a bicycle. Even though both have advantages and disadvantages.
In a 2017 interview, Sapkowski told Vice that while he has "nothing against video games in general" or CD Projekt Red's Witcher titles, he believes games lack any "room for depth or sophisticated language with which [the medium] could elevate culture." As for why he agreed to let CD Projekt Red adapt the series in the first place, Sapkowski said "it's hard to say no to an adaptation offer that comes with a lot of money."
A little over a year later after his interview with Vice, Sapkowski demanded more money from CD Projekt Red for the Witcher games, claiming that his compensation was too low given the games' success. Sapkowski and the studio settled the dispute last month under undisclosed terms.
As with the Witcher games, Sapkowski is reluctant to heap praise on the Netflix show ("My name appears in the credits[...] it wouldn't be decent") nor is he quick to credit either adaptation for renewed interest in his novels. "I am tempted to say that this happened because of the author's exceptional talent," Sapkowski tells io9, "but I won't do that, I am too modest."
Modest or no, Sapkowski certainly has some strong takes. The most relatable of all has to be what he told io9 about his involvement in the Witcher show's production: "Not very much, on my own request. I do not like working too hard or too long. By the way, I do not like working at all. 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone at me.' John 8:7."
By Netflix's new viewership metrics, the streaming platform claims that The Witcher is one of its strongest debuts for a show ever. The second season is already in production, and like the first, it won't be adapting any storylines that originated in the games.