The Witcher Book And Game Sales Are Up 500% On Last Year

The Witcher Book And Game Sales Are Up 500% On Last Year

Sales of The Witcher franchise have spiked in the wake of Netflix’s recent adaptation. According to analyst firm The NPD Group, both the book series and the games that they inspired saw renewed interest in the weeks after the show debuted.

The Witcher quickly broke Netflix viewing records after its launch in December last year, but its impact has also been felt elsewhere. In the two weeks following the series’ arrival on the streaming platform, book revenue was up 562 per cent on the same period in 2018. Much of that came from The Last Wish, a book of short stories that introduce people to the world of The Witcher, many of which were adapted for TV. The novels’ new-found success helped drive a massive new print run on both sides of the Atlantic, with 500,000 new books being ordered by the publisher.

While increased book sales are good news for author Andrezj Sapkowski’s bottom line, game developer CD Projekt Red received its own bonus from renewed interest in the franchise. Player counts for The Witcher 3 on Steam reached records during December, and The NPD Group’s report states that physical sales of the game in December were up 554 per cent on the same period last year. That number was inflated by the recent Nintendo Switch release, but even when excluding the port, which was released in October 2019, sales were up 63 per cent.

It’s good news for Netflix, of course, but it also bodes well for fans of the games. A huge spike in interest like this is unlikely to have gone unnoticed by CDPR, and while they’re still hard at work on Cyberpunk 2077, it’s looking increasingly likely that the developer will be tempted back to The Continent sometime soon.

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This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour from the British isles.


  • Increased awareness = increased sales.
    Neil Gaiman noticed the same thing when he changed his stance on piracy.

    He was doing research on piracy after learning his works were out there, but when he actually investigated it for himself, he found that increased revenue was a direct result of new torrents being spread of his. He did some analysis and discovered that the torrents popularity caused increased awareness, and that translated directly into fresh sales.

    So much so that he convinced his publisher to distribute a free digital version of American Gods, which resulted in a 300% increase in actual sales revenue.

    Which is pretty much everything you need to know about how bullshit the anti-piracy brigade’s arguments are about lost sales.

    It’s also why games developers rush to be the ‘big fish’ in every new digital storefront ‘small pond,’ and complain about curation (both when they’re getting curated out, or when there’s no curation, which means they’re in, but so is everyone else). Because increased awareness = increased sales.

    • My absolute favourite thing about the anti-piracy mindset is how any prevention method come up with basically only ever harms paying customers… It’s so frequently the case one starts to wonder if that is their actual goal.

      Don’t worry though, the likes of Denuvo assures everyone that their DRM isn’t the reason for performance problems on games that use it… And it’s all purely coincidental that any game it gets removed from magically performs better, sometimes drastically so.

      • Many people and groups (Including google) have said that the easiest way to reduce piracy is to make things easier to consume.

        Music piracy is the biggest example of this. Before platforms like Spotify, Music piracy was rampant. Nowadays its almost non-existent. There is no point when you can just stream.

        Companies failed to adapt to the internet era and for too long wanted to be stuck in the past. But now they are being dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era of content distribution.

  • Imagine being Andrzej Sapkowski and writing a book you wanted to read in the 80’s and then just having national success and then BAM! it’s 2007 and now non-polish speaking western scum want to consume everything you write! 40 years later and a new 500% increase in awareness… All the while the royalties a flowing in.

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