Ubisoft Sued By American Author Over Assassin’s Creed Story

Ubisoft Sued By American Author Over Assassin’s Creed Story

The Assassin’s Creed developer could end up paying $5.25 million over story similarities.

The American sci-fi author and research engineer John L. Beiswenger is suing Ubisoft for allegedly stealing ideas from his 2002 novel, Link, and using them in the Assassin’s Creed games, GamesIndustry International has reported.

Like the Assassin’s Creed games, Beiswenger’s novel explores the idea of memories of ancestors being “re-experienced” through a machine called the “Bio-synchroniser”. The legal complaint also attempts to link the “spiritual and biblical tones” of the novel and the games, including “references made to Jesus and God, the Garden of Eden, and forbidden fruit”.

One extract from the novel reads:

“If John Wilkes Booth fathered a child after he assassinated Lincoln, and we found a descendant alive today, we could place Booth at the scene and perhaps smell the gunpowder. Ancestral memories? As far back as you want”.

Beiswenger is looking to get “damages in an amount not less than $1.05 million”, and is aiming as high as $5.25 million if the ruling judge decides Ubisoft is guilty of copyright infringement. He is also trying to prevent the release of Assassin’s Creed 3 and all other future Assassin’s Creed related media.

Some of the ideas in the novel and the games might be similar, but the whole thing looks an awful lot like a win-win situation for Beiswenger. At worst, the fiasco will give massive promotion to his fairly obscure  novel, and if he gets his way, he’ll be getting a huge dollop of cash as well. Also, is it seriously feasible to go around suing people for being influenced by the Bible,  the best selling book in history, because you were as well? If it is, all I need is a lawyer and a story vaguely resembling the story of creation and my financial troubles are solved forever!

9 comments

  1. Don Jake

    That’s ridiculous. Unless the characters in Assassins Creed were similar to those in his book he has no reason to sue them. Mostly everything has been done once before, it makes no sense to sue over such vague similarities.

  2. I disagree I think he has legitmate grounds tot sue them

  3. No I want Assassains creed 3!!

  4. Prof_Hockenberry

    I wrote a story about a stealthy man with a hood also. Where’s my money?

    • BioShock runs a very similar theme to the ancestral memory thing… The plasmid ghosts are basically the same effect as the Animus.

  5. Jonathan

    If this game doesn’t come out, i’ll jump his ass with my hidden blade.

  6. So why did he wait until now? The first game came out in 2007, and if he’s talking about the fact that ACII starts to reference Adam and Eve, God, etc., that was in 2009. If he actually wins this mockery of a case there are going to be a lot of AC fans that are going to jump his ass, including me.

  7. Yep. Beiswenger is a Templar.

  8. This just looks like another person suing for the sake of suing. Nearly every new idea has similarities to something else. I am disappointed in this author, like Hima stated, his qualms with AC began with 1, why wait until now? Unless more details support that his book was about a Mohawk Indian that struggled with his own people to help the Colonists, and was an assassin who’s memories are being played through by a current era protagonist; he should have no feeling of entitlement towards this idea.

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