A real world Witcher school in Poland is having to close down due to having its license to the IP pulled by CD Projekt Red.
As reported by Eurogamer, The Witcher School, a real-life school that fans of the series could attend to learn things like leatherwork, fencing, and casting magical signs, is shutting down. 5 Żywiołów, the company that ran the role-playing school, announced the news on Facebook, saying that CD Projekt Red "terminated the license agreement."
5 Żywiołów alleges that the license was pulled due to one staff member's involvement in a controversial, ultra-conservative Polish Catholic organisation Ordo Iuris, known for being anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ+, and is against gender equality.
Ania Wawrzyniak, the staff member in question, is the wife of Dastin Wawrzyniak, founder of 5 Żywiołów. Ania apparently worked as a lawyer for the company for about two years, between 2017 and 2019, according to a Facebook post which was co-signed by Dastin and brother Dominic Wawrzyniak.
The controversy regarding Ania arose due to her recent direct involvement with Ordo Iuris where she was commissioned to work on "the legal mechanisms for introducing and enforcing the vaccination obligation and the possible consequences of failure to comply with it", and "the draft of a law penalising illegal abortion," according to the Facebook post.
Ania's involvement in Ordo Iuris was highlighted by Polish media at multiple outlets, which resulted in 5 Żywiołów contacting CD Projekt in an attempt to explain. "When the situation happened, we informed CD Projekt RED about it, which in response, without asking for any explanations, terminated the licence agreement," explained the more recent Facebook post.
When Eurogamer reached out to CD Projekt Red for a comment, the studio responded. "In February we decided to end our cooperation with the organisers of Witcher School. And now the contractual notice period of three months has ended. For more context, this cooperation was about the LARP itself, and potential merchandise tied to it. We do not provide further details on the matter."
Despite the controversy, 5 Żywiołów plans to offer a new, original LARP experience that it hopes to launch in spring 2023.