Why Netflix’s The Witcher distanced itself from the video games

When Netflix announced The Witcher TV series was coming to its platforms, gamers rejoiced. And why not? The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was one of best games of the past decade and offered a new experience for the open world RPG genre of games.

But once gamers started watching the show, things were different and unfamiliar. That’s because writer and showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich was focused on adapting The Witcher novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski instead of what happened in the games.

In an interview for Netflix’s Behind the Scenes Podcast about The Witcher series, host Brandon Jenkins asked, why focus on the books and not the video games, since the games were so popular, especially in the U.S.?

"Absolutely, I think American audiences mostly know about Geralt from The Witcher video games," Hissrich said. "The answer is very simple though and it's that the video games are based on the books. The video games are adaptations of the books. For me it didn't make sense to make an adaptation of an adaptation of something."

"What that does is allow us to tell The Witcher story… just in a different way," she continued. "I think that a lot of video game fans are concerned that we're taking something from them, we're usurping something that's theirs. And the truth is, I love the video games, they are not going anywhere. They are insanely successful. I can only hope that our show is that successful. The video games aren't going anywhere and the books aren't going anywhere. This is just a third way to enjoy these same characters and this same world."

As far as season two, it’s already written. In a recent interview with IGN.com, Hissrich confirmed they’re in pre-production for season two, however, we might not see the episodes until 2021.

"The truth is, is an enormous show and it takes a long time and we realized that in Season 1 we were smashing down a lot of the post-production process," Hissrich told IGN. "And we want to make sure that everyone on our team gets the time to do their job and do it to the best of their ability. So we’re making sure we have a lot of built-in cushion time for Season 2 so we don’t cram anything in at the last minute."