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!