Let’s find out about the origin of some of the most popular series of games today, starting with the origin of The Witcher.
“Witcher. Born from filthy magic tricks and magic, they are criminals without conscience, intellect, or fear. They are devils who only kill, have no place of survival among humans. Kaer Morhen, where these creatures hide, perform magic tricks, must be wiped off the ground, and all traces must be purified with salt and pepper. ”
A sales guy
The Witcher Geralt was born in December 1986, when the first story of the white-haired monster hunter was published in Fantastyka magazine. Its author, Andrzej Sapkowski, is a fur salesman with an economics degree who loves reading fantasy novels but never thought he would live as a writer. If it weren’t for a Fantastyka of his son, Andrzej would never have thought of creating Geralt of Rivia.
So what happened? The magazine talked about a novel competition, and Andrzej thought he would write a story, receive an award, and then “GG”. He wanted to shock the people of Poland but had to do it in 30 pages. Long canonical stories won’t fit into that framework.
What do we need to do? Andrzej decided to write a fairytale story – fairytale, but not fair, but full of evil. He wants to make old Polish stories more authentic. Poland has the story of a shoemaker slaying a dragon by luring him to eat a sheep stuffed with sulfur. When the dragon was thirsty and drank water from the river, it exploded and died.
“Lies,” Andrzej said. “The shoemaker makes shoes, not kills monsters. Soldiers and knights? Those are fools. Monks only want money and harass children. So who killed the monster? ”
“You want to kill dragons. You don’t look for a shoemaker.” You call the pros. Therefore, I invented those people. ”
Wiedzmin posted on Fantastyka.
He wrote Wiedzmin, the short story later translated into The Witcher, and sent to Fantastyka. After a year of waiting, he thought he had failed because no one liked what he wrote. But the truth is that this short story almost got the first prize. According to Andrzej, in Poland at that time, fantasy was a genre for young children who didn’t know to take a selfie, so he had to stop at third.
Pagan Min – Poor villain Unlike most other villains in the Far Cry game series, Pagan Min makes players “burst” with emotion when discovering his true self.
“ Judges are judges; most of them are stupid, are biased. But the community – The Witcher’s influence on the Polish fan community is enormous, huge. And everyone says, ‘add, add, add, add’. ”
Initially, Andrzej did not intend to write more, but the fans’ enthusiasm changed his mind. He wrote a few more short stories about the Witcher, and the support became even more enthusiastic. He decided to try something no one had ever done before: write a complete saga about The Witcher.
Let professional people work.
“Everyone laughed at me,” he said. No one believes a particular publisher will put a Polish name on a fantasy novel and hope to sell it. But SuperNowa did that, and in 1994, Blood of Elves – the first novel of The Witcher Saga was born.
An avid reader of the fantasy genre, and knowing how frustrated his fans were when he had to wait so long, he wrote one book at a time. After only a few years, The Witcher became one of the most famous Polish literature novels. In 1999, this series completed with the last episode Lady of the Lake was released in Poland.
… and two guys addicted to games
Around the same time, Andrzej released Blood of Elves. Two young men often quit school to play games – Marcin Iwinski and Michal Kicinski wanted to set up a company specializing in importing games from the US to Poland to sell – and more importantly, to be played in front of everyone. The two went to the tax office, knocked on the door, and asked, “What do we do if we want to start a company?”
CD Projekt’s first car to deliver games.
And so the CD Projekt was established. They had $ 2,000 in their pockets, an old PC, an office in a friend’s apartment that he rented out for free. They had an incredibly high start – so high that shoppers were panting and sweaty after climbing dozens of floors. Even so, both of them always dress seriously 24/24, because they are too young and do not want people to think that their company is just a joke.
CD Projekt’s game release went smoothly, although, in Poland, one could buy a £ 15 game for just £ 3 within 48 hours of its release. “Unique way” CD Projekt made is the contract with Interplay to release Baldur’s Gate (developed by BioWare), a game that they know will be famous in Poland. The game will be localized, something no one else can do in Poland, and Russian language learners will understand the vast amount of text in the game. Also, a large-capacity game like Baldur’s Gate will make the sellers of pirated games falter because they have to spend 5 CDs to record it.
Always dress seriously to avoid making people think you are just a joke.
Projekt CD costs £ 30,000 to buy 3,000 copies of games from Interplay, and localizing the game costs an additional £ 30,000. They also have to spend marketing costs and hire famous actors to voice a few characters. “Back then, it cost a lot of money. The whole company depends on it, ”Iwinski said.
Baldur’s Gate was sold at £ 30 instead of the usual £ 15 by CD Projekt. But inside the box is what pirated games can’t get: a wax-sealed map, a Dungeons & Dragons law book, and an audio disc. Smugglers have to sell the game for £ 15, and Iwinski hopes that those who want to pay £ 15 for pirated games will accept paying another £ 15 for something extraordinary.
Baldur’s Gate genuine CD Projekt boxes.
And they succeed. Three months before the release date, there were more than 8,000 orders from gamers. At the time, there was no chain of game stores in Poland, and CD Projekt had to buy a new warehouse to store his game. The first day Baldur’s Gate was released, they sold 18,000 copies of the game to domestic RPG fans.
Success followed, and one day, Interplay wanted CD Projekt to sell Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance in Poland. It was a console game, and Polish gamers were all “PC Master Race”. Interplay asked CD Projekt to try to switch the system, and so they recruited Sebastian Zielinski and Adam Badowski – two pillars of CD Projekt in the past and present. Although in the end, Interplay changed his mind and did not give the right to transfer the Dark Alliance system to CD Projekt, the desire to make the game infect the blood of the game’s love boys.
And in Poland, there is no fantasy more popular than Wiedzmin. Although he didn’t believe he would convince Andrzej, CD Projekt called him, requested an appointment, and went straight to the point. “It wasn’t a lot of money, but he accepted it,” Iwinski recalled. “We have the right to make games. Then the real difficulty began because we had to make a game, and no one knew how to make it. “