Ubisoft and Gametrailers have been sued by a US writer who is claiming that underlying plot elements behind the publisher's best-selling Assassin's Creed franchise "borrow" a little too much from his own novel.
According to plaintiff John Beiswenger, who has filed his complaint in the US District Court of Pennsylvania, one of Assassin's Creed's plot devices of reliving the experiences of a distant ancestor (through use of an advanced machine) that have somehow become "encoded" into an individual's DNA or "blood memory" is much too similar to the story hook he devised for his own novel, Link, published back in 2003.
In Link, a fictitious research company attempts to tap into the "ancestral memories" of test subjects in an effort to essentially prove the existence of the human soul as a part of our being through the always convenient power of science. Things get interesting for the company when competitors, a foreign government and a "special interest group" learn of their research.
Beiswenger, who is also a product research engineer with 20 patents to his name, accuses Ubisoft and Gametrailers of no less than 11 counts of copyright infringement for allegedly nicking his novel's idea for the Assassin's Creed franchise, soon to receive its third official game. Beiswenger's complaint targets Gametrailers for their videos which promote the Assassin's Creed plotline.
Beiswenger's complaint seeks to prevent any further alleged infringement of his work, not to mention damages that could reach as high as $5.25 million USD if the US District Court does in fact rule in his favor once the suit is underway.