Movie/TV News

Real-Life Witcher Training School Closes After 7 Years

The Witcher School LARP in Poland, 5 Żywiołów, has shut its doors due to CD Projekt Red’s termination of a contractural agreement with the company.

CD Projekt Red terminated a contractural agreement with 5 Żywiołów (5 Elements), the company responsible for The Witcher School live action role-playing game events in Poland; as such, the school has officially come to an end. It’s worthing noting that CDPR’s title to The Witcher property, which it renewed with series creator Andrezej Sapkowski in 2019, applies to video games, board games, graphic novels, and merchandise. When 5 Żywiołów decided to enter into an arrangement for a real-life Witcher School in 2015, then, it had to first go through the Polish development house.

5 Żywiołów began hosting the Witcher-themed LARP events in 2015, allowing thousands of would-be monster hunters from around the world to participate in 40 different training courses over a seven-year period. The LARP invited players to live and train in a real castle, take part in fencing, archery, and blacksmith, and, ultimately, fight off monsters with their fellow Witcher trainees. Unfortunately, the road to the Path recently came to end because of what appears to be politically-driven motivations.


Related: Elden Ring Player Recreates Geralt’s Witcher Fighting Style

After seven years of business, 5 Żywiołów will no longer operate its Witcher School-themed LARP. According to reporting from Eurogamer, the company claims CD Projekt Red terminated the licensing agreement over one employee’s ties to Ordo Iuris, an ultra-conservative, religious-right organization known for its anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ sentiments. The employee, Ania Wawrzyniak, is married to company founder Dastin Wawrzyniak and served as 5 Żywiołów’s legal counsel between 2017 and 2019. Recently, however, the lawyer began working with Ordo Iuris to draft a law “penalizing illegal abortion.” When Polish media broke the story earlier this year, 5 Żywiołów thought it prudent to inform CDPR. 5 Żywiołów alleges that CDPR’s response included the immediate dissolution of their licensing agreement. When Eurogamer contacted the development studio for clarification, the team would only confirm that its dealings with the Witcher School have ended.

witcher school in poland ends cdpr agreement

In a Facebook post announcing the news, 5 Żywiołów lamented that COVID-related losses combined with the shuttering of the real-life Witcher School could eventually culminate in bankruptcy. The plan is to weather the storm, though, as Eurogamer notes that former LARP attendees have received a notice saying 5 Żywiołów hopes to establish an original role-playing event that could launch as early as 2023.

Over the course of seven years, the Witcher School trained no less than 3,000 monster slayers from dozens of countries around the globe. Nearly 3,000 monsters were felled during that span of time across 40 different LARP events, each one providing attendees with the skills necessary to take on the likes of even Gaunter O’Dimm.

Next: Witcher 3: Best Things to Do After Beating The Game

Source: Witcher School/FacebookEurogamer

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