You gotta love when this type of thing rears its head about three or four games too late, but science fiction author John L. Beiswenger is none too pleased about similarities between Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series and his novel, Link. Thus, he's slapping the publisher with a lawsuit that seeks over $1.05 million and and $5.25 million in damages. He also wants to block Assassin's Creed III and other franchise products from being released.
Link involves a device known as a "Bio-Synthesizer," which allows people to access and experience their ancestors' memories. That sounds a lot like the device Desmond uses to leap into the lives of his historical relatives in Ubisoft's millions-selling action/stealth series. As the lawsuit claims, "Ubisoft have directly copied, and directly and contributorily infringed on the whole of Plaintiff's copyrighted work."
Beiswenger's book came out in 2003, roughly four years prior to the release of the first Assassin's Creed game. The author claims thematic similarities such as "spiritual and biblical tones," as well as "accurate historical moments [being experienced] through their ancestors' memories." Here's an excerpt from the book's synopsis on Amazon, where, naturally, fans of AC appear to be descending to drop the rating as low as possible:
The author lets the reader be present right alongside the scientists as they uncover some of the very secrets of Creation, and while test subjects are taken back in time to recall ancestral memories, a process key to proving the existence of the human soul. Intrigue enters the plot as competitors, a foreign government, and a special-interest group learn of Search International's discoveries.
Ok, but still, why now? Maybe because Ubisoft is rolling in Assassin's Creed dough. The similarities are certainly there, though. What do you think? Is this a quick attempt at grabbin' some cash, or is it a warranted lawsuit?