Things We Saw Today: Wow Did The Witcher TV Show Help Sell a Lot of Books and Video Games

Pop Culture


The Witcher was already a successful property, but the popularity of the Netflix series spurred sales across the board—and there are some truly extraordinary, eye-watering numbers illustrating just how much.

As points out, the business strategy NPD Group has analyzed The Witcher’s performance in several markets. A new report, “The Witcher’s Impact Across Entertainment,” concluded that “the release of the series actually had a wild impact on the entire Witcher ecosystem, and helped drive sales of both the books and the video games to major heights.”

Just how high? Well, in the two weeks after The Witcher’s December bow, “USA physical book revenue was 562 percent higher than the same period in 2018.” 562%! Author Andrzej Sapkowski has already had a very good 2020.

The surge in book sales was centered around The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher, Sapkowski’s book of short stories about Geralt & co. that contains a lot of the adventures seen on the first season of the show. But physical copies of other books in the series have also been sold out on Amazon for weeks and in bookstores.

In terms of video games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt had already sold 20 million units prior to the show’s arrival, but many new-made fans of The Witcher took their interest in the world back to their consoles. According to NPD:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was ported to the Nintendo Switch console in October 2019, just before the Netflix series premiered. These combined factors caused the game to have a strong surge in sales during Q4 2019.

U.S. December physical sales for the game were 554 percent higher than December 2018, and still 63 percent higher even when excluding the Nintendo Switch platform.

If you’re an executive casting about for your next project, it appears that lessons can be learned from The Witcher’s multi-market success. NPD concludes: “It is important to prospect as creatively as possible and look for specialized trends in other areas of the entertainment, such as book IP, that could translate strong source material into large followings.”

Yay for more genre books hopefully becoming big things—and for screen-adapted books driving more people to buy the books. This is a circle of life that we can get behind.


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What did you see out there today?

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