Author John Beiswenger, or more specifically Beiswenger’s lawyer, has come out to defend his lawsuit regarding certain perceived similarities between his novel Link and the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Beiswenger claims that elements from the Assassin’s Creed series — namely the presence of assassins, religion, and a battle between good and evil (isn’t that every novel) — bare too striking a resemblance to those in his book.
The real smoking gun for the case is the use of a fictitious device to view the memories of ancestors or descendants, which sounds a lot like the Animus used by protagonist Desmond in all four of the previous games. Beiswenger feels that Ubisoft has violated copyright laws, and stolen ideas from his work of fiction for use in their extremely lucrative series.
Despite being flooded with a ton of negative reviews on his book’s Amazon page, Beiswenger is continuing on, and is seeking $5.25 Million in damages and for this year’s Assassin’s Creed 3 not to be released. Here’s a brief statement from his lawyer.
“We understand that many gamers are upset about the litigation and potential for delay in the release of the next Assassin’s Creed video game, and as a result of that anger have been posting negative comments on Amazon – and other forums – about our client and his novel Link. However, copyright laws exist to protect authors and creators from others who copy or create works that are, under the law, substantially similar; failure to enforce copyright laws renders them meaningless.”
A lot of people are asking why Beiswenger decided to come out with this information now and not back in 2007, but his lawyer’s response is only that the lawsuit was brought before the court “within the applicable time periods required under the law.” Could be that Beiswenger’s attention was only just recently clued into the similarities, or he saw how lucrative the Assassin’s franchise has become and thought it best to act now.
Nonetheless both parties are moving on, business as usual, with Ubisoft sticking to their release date and not commenting on the situation. Most likely, if the court is looking to rule in Beiswenger’s favor, Ubisoft will have to pay out some sort of settlement, but a deal will be reached whereby Assassin’s Creed 3 can meet its release date.
Love of Assassin’s Creed aside, do you think that Beiswenger’s suit has some grounds? Is John Beiswenger just looking to cash in on a coincidence?
Assassin’s Creed 3 releases (hopefully) on October 30, 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.