Rev up those legal documents! Ubisoft is now apparently being sued by American science fiction writer, John L. Beiswenger, over aspects of the Assassin’s Creed games that run similar to his own novel, Link.
The lawsuit explains that the novel portrays the use of a device that can access the memories of people in order to obtain information, much like how the Animus in Assassin’s Creed operates, as well as references to God, Jesus, and other biblical overtones. The suit also mentions the use of assassins in the novel, another key figure in the Creed games. An example from the book writes, “The driver paused, then explained. ‘The U.S. Government has just been contacted by the Israeli prime minister. Most of his cabinet members have been assassinated during a cabinet meeting. The assassins missed him, and his security people caught one of the perpetrators.'” Beiswenger is thus accusing Ubisoft of directly ripping off his work by using these elements.
While Link was published back in 2002, the original Assassin’s Creed game was released in 2007. Five years later, many other games in the Creed series have been released on various platforms, as well as other paraphernalia. With this in mind, the primary question is how much did one party know of the other’s existence before this lawsuit came up (because this is really the first time I even heard of the Link novel), and why did Beiswenger wait until now to get his lawsuit up and running (other than the obvious ploy to get more money)?
Beiswenger is demanding damages from Ubisoft for each item that was released under the Assassin’s Creed name, including games, guides, comics, and other materials. Damages are being set at no less than $1 million, with more damages possible depending on the presiding judge’s ruling. The suit is also demanding the prevention of release for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed III game, due out later this year, something that will surely rub fans the wrong way.