Fantasy RPG The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has sold millions of copies around the world and is critically acclaimed. One reason for this is the game's music and the songs players hear throughout the game. However, developer CD Projekt RED may now find itself in hot water over this soundtrack.
Croatian composer Elvis Stanić has accused CD Projekt RED of copyright infringement over The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt soundtrack. The soundtrack features a song called Widow-Maker and Stanić claims that this is a rip-off of his song, titled Naranča.
The song was recorded for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt soundtrack by Mikołaj Stroiński and Marcin Przybyłowicz (who will be returning for Cyberpunk 2077) and was based on the 2012 album Songs from the Southern Slavs by the band Percival. One of the songs from the album was Naranča, written by Stanić and performed by the band Putokazi. The song is registered with the Croatian body ZAMP and the International Authors' Center (CISAC).
Stanić says that the song has already been removed from the game's soundtrack on streaming and music download platforms after he contacted CD Projekt RED about it last year. However, the composer says that the developer has still "unlawfully" sold the song as part of the vinyl versions of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt soundtrack.
Stanić is "delighted" that his song is connected to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and that it is in front of so many fans, but he has been "subjected to enormous damage as an exclusive author." The composer has also been filing copyright takedowns against versions of the song on YouTube but has no plans to pursue legal action against YouTube content creators. It seems to be CD Projekt RED (and only CD Projekt RED) that Stanić has an issue with.
This isn't the first time that CD Projekt RED has been in a financial dispute over The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Andrzej Sapkowski, the author whose works The Witcher games are based on, demanded more payment from CD Projekt RED. The author felt that he is owed major royalties for his part in the game's success. The developer refuted these claims but it seems that they have since come to an agreement.
CD Projekt RED has yet to respond to Stanić's claims and it's not known how much compensation the musician is looking for. However, the ongoing disputes with the successful game would at least give the developer a reason to be more careful if it decides to make The Witcher 4.