It was just yesterday that we brought the news of John Beiswenger, author of the novel Link, who is pursuing a lawsuit against Ubisoft for the similarities between Assassin’s Creed and his book. Essentially, Beiswenger believes that Ubisoft stole the idea for the Animus from Link, and would like some form of compensation.
Since these types of legal disputes generally are stretched out far longer than they need to be — just look at West and Zampella vs. Activision — this lawsuit had the potential of delaying the release of Ubisoft’s forthcoming AC title, Assassin’s Creed 3. Unfortunately nobody told Beiswenger that Assassin’s Creed 3 features a brand new setting and protagonist, and is easily the most anticipated entry in the franchise yet.
As expected, the fans weren’t having any of what Beiswenger was serving up, and, in an effort to help him feel gamers’ wrath, have bombarded his book with 1/5 reviews. Before this lawsuit was brought to light, Link had only one review (a 5/5 review written back in 2007), but now it has over 30 reviews, most of which are negative. Some of the reviews are claiming that the book plagiarized off Assassin’s Creed through some sort of time travel or magic, while others are judging the book based on the short preview that Amazon offers.
It’s actually become a battle of reviews at this point, with some coming out in support of Beiswenger and trying to give him 5/5 reviews to counterbalance. Unfortunately, the book has now plummeted to a 1.6/5 aggregate score, and Beiswenger is better understanding the fandom of video games.
While it is abundantly clear that gamers are not happy with Beiswenger’s lawsuit, it feels a bit petty to criticize his book when obviously no one has read it. His lawsuit may have grounds, or it may not, that’s for the courts to decide, and most likely it won’t cause Assassin’s Creed 3 to miss its release date.
Nonetheless, avid gamers will be avid gamers, and Beiswenger is certainly feeling their wrath right about now.
Do you feel that Beiswenger has a right to sue given the similarities between his book and the story of Assassin’s Creed? Should Amazon allow these negative reviews to remain on the book’s site?