Assassin’s Creed idea supposedly “ripped off”

Ubisoft is being sued by John L. Beiswenger. Wondering who that is? Well he’s the author to the novel titled Link. And what the hell does he have to do with Ubisoft, well Mr. Beiswenger claims Ubisoft “ripped off” his ideas from his novel in the well-known Assassin’s Creed franchise.

John L. Beiswenger is a writer and a research engineer who details “the concept of the ‘Bio-synthesizer,’ a device that allows people to access and experience the memories of their ancestors. Desmond lives out the lives of his historical relatives in Assassin’s Creed, using a similar device” (Destructoid) called the Animus.

“As well as the central premise, Beiswenger says there are thematic similarities, including, ‘spiritual and biblical tones, with references made to Jesus and God’ and the experiencing of “accurate historical moments through their ancestors’ memories” (Destructoid).

Beiswenger wishes for at least $1.05 million and $5.25 million in damages. In addition, the author wants Ubisoft to stop the release of their next installment of the Assassin’s Creed series scheduled to release in October. Not only does he want to halt the upcoming Assassin’s Creed III, but also Beiswenger wants to stop any future releases connected to the popular franchise.

Now I think that’s a little ridiculous, especially considering the franchise hit in 2007 and well it’s 2012, five years later, and at least nine years after the publication of Link. While sure I can definitely see the similarities between the two; however I don’t believe through the result of the suing Ubisoft, Ubisoft should stop the Assassin’s Creed franchise. But Beiswenger should receive compensation for the concepts. Who knows, maybe the author is just searching for publicity of his novel by bring this “ripped off” insinuation now. I don’t know much about his book, but even with the “Bio-synthesizer” concept and biblical tones, that doesn’t take away the entire history Ubisoft detailed in the video games, comic books, etc. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully this won’t set back the release date of Assassin’s Creed III.

UPDATE: Here’s a few excerpts from Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s article that provides a bit more detail after this hit the news early this morning.

“And so it goes on, attempting to create a case that there are overwhelming similarities beyond the Animus silliness by plucking out of context references to religion in the games and saying, “There are references to religion in the book!” Er, yes. He even cites the use of a battle between good and evil as another match between the two. He’s got you there, Ubisoft! Oh, and Assassin’s Creed games use the word “link” sometimes. No, seriously, he cites that.

And how much does he want? $90,000 for three infringements on his copyrights, or if it’s ruled that the infringement was wilful, $450,000. Oh, sorry, I forgot to say. That’s for Assassin’s Creed I.

For AssCreed II he wants $180,000, or $900,000 for wilful copying, and the same again for Brotherhood, and yet again for Revelations. He requests a total of $180k/000k for the three Official Guides, another $60k/$300k for the Encyclopaedia, and $120,000/$600,000 for the comics. For the PlayStation Home trailer it’s a bargain at $30k/$150k, and the same again for the Revelations 420 trailer.

So it’s just the $1,050,000 for unwilling infringement, or a tidy $5,250,000 if they did it on purpose. And he’d like to ensure that Assassin’s Creed III doesn’t come out, nor any books, videos or other works related to it. And here, incredibly, he’s adding Gametrailers to the defendant list.”


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