Author John Beiswenger has just filed a lawsuit against video game publisher Ubisoft claiming that the company's Assassin's Creed franchise directly copied ideas from his own story. If Beiswenger succeeds, this could mean fans won't be seeing a third Assassin's Creed game, or at least not anytime soon.
Beiswenger's Link is a science fiction novel centering on a team of scientists who discover a cell particle with infinite capacity for memory. The researchers are taken back in time as their test subject recalls ancestral memories in hopes of learning about the existence of the human soul.
The Assassin's Creed series also hinges on the same plot elements. The historical fiction action adventure game follows bartender Desmond Miles, who is kidnapped by a corporation known as Abstergo. His captors show him a time machine known as the Animus, in which Desmond travels back in time to relive his ancestor's memories.
In addition to the similar plot elements, both works also include spiritual and religious tones, assassinations and characters experiencing historical events through their distant past relatives. Link and Assassin's Creed both include the theme of the battle between good and evil as well.
In Beiswinger's novel, Med Diagnostics intends to steal and use the Link technology to its benefit. Governmental entities also try to persuade Search International to use the Link device and process to interrogate assassins and their families. In the Assassin's Creed series, Abstergo Industries uses the Animus technology to interrogate Desmond to find information to track down other assassins.
Ubisoft have directly copied, and directly and contributory infringed on the whole of Plaintiff's copyrighted work, the official court document says. Link was published originally published in 2003, and the first Assassin's Creed game was released in 2007.
The author is seeking $1.05 million against Ubisoft in damages and up to $5.25 million if the judge rules that the company knowingly infringed on the copyright. This would also halt the release of Assassin's Creed 3 and any other related products. The third game is expected to come out in the holiday 2012 season on Oct. 30th.
Assassin's Creed 3 will take place in colonial New York and Boston during the Revolutionary War, and the series' new main character is a Native American/British mix named Connor. The series is widely popular due to its sandbox nature, allowing players to freely explore the historical world recreated virtually.
Check out the trailer for the game below.