The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was, without question, one of the best video games to see a release in 2015. Actually, this sword and sorcery fantasy epic left many people speechless five years ago, clinching numerous game of the year awards and selling millions of copies the world over.
The Witcher 3, then, was a hit for Polish game creators CD Projekt Red. But despite the fact that the Witcher games are well-known amongst gamers, this video game series hadn’t gotten much mainstream attention yet.
This all changed with the release of The Witcher TV show on Netflix last December. Starring Henry Cavill as the titular Witcher (who’s named Geralt of Rivia in the game’s fantasy world), the show attracted close to 20 million viewers.
This also has had an effect on sales of The Witcher 3 game, which increased by a sizeable margin in December 2019 compared to the previous year’s December as was recently reported on PC Gamer.
According to the NPD Group, physical sales of The Witcher 3 increased by more than 500 %, although most of these copies sold were for the Nintendo Switch version of the game, which hit shelves shortly before Netflix’s Witcher TV show was released.
Aside from an increase in the number of physical copies sold, this renewed interest in The Witcher 3 is also reflected in the game’s Steam numbers as PC Gamer points out. CD Projekt’s game surpassed the 100,000 concurrent player mark this January, and shockingly enough, more players were playing it in late December than on its launch date back in 2015.
And it’s not only that Netflix’s TV show has had a positive impact on the games: there’s been a surge of interest in Andrzej Sapkowski books too. Sapkowski is the author behind the Witcher novels on which the games and TV show are based, and a man who had quarreled with game developer CD Projekt due to not getting a fair cut of the profits from the games. But now given the massive interest in the show and games, and the fact that book sale revenue for his Witcher books was up by more than 500 % during the two weeks following the show’s premiere according to NPD, he’ll get the compensation he deserves for sure.
But one question that begs asking is whether The Witcher will become the next Game of Thrones? Looking at the interest the series has generated so far Netflix’s TV show certainly has the potential to capitalize on the vacuum left by HBO’s Game of Thrones, the last episodes of which aired last May. There’s certainly an appetite for dark fantasy movies and series amongst audiences, meaning The Witcher’s second season (which has already been announced) could attract even more viewers than the first.
Here’s hoping the Witcher keeps doing well, then, and also that CD Projekt’s upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077 turns out to be another epic of the highest caliber when it hits shelves this September too. But for those hoping to play another Witcher game there’s still hope on the horizon, as CD Projekt admitted a couple of years back it would like to return to the Witcher universe someday.