The first Witcher game was a text adventure played via SMS

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The Witcher series’ journey from the pages of a Polish fantasy magazine to global gaming blockbuster has been charted in a new documentary. White Wolf: The History of the Digital Witcher has been produced by Polish gaming site arhn.eu in celebration of the series’ tenth anniversary.

CD Projekt Red released their own (very lovely) video celebrating ten years of the Witcher last week.

The documentary begins with the series’ humble beginnings as a short story submitted to a competition in Poland’s Fantastyka magazine, more than 30 years ago. While Andrzej Sapkowski’s entry only came third, it quickly gained a sizeable following in Poland, and was eventually followed by two short story collections and five novels.

Before CD Projekt Red got their hands on the series, however, it first went to a different studio. In 1997, Metropolis started developing a turn-based adaptation of the series, which was later abandoned. The next iteration of the game was an SMS-based text game, launched by the Idea network. It wasn’t until 2002, and the formation of CD Projekt Red as a studio, that development would start on The Witcher trilogy.

The entire documentary, (which is in Polish, although English subtitles are available) is an extensive look at how the series came to be, from its earliest iterations to the long-term impact its success will have on the entire Polish games industry. At nearly two hours long, it’s a bit of a time-investment, but is well worth a watch.

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