So, long time no Assassin’s Creed. Most of us already know about the news that a writer has allegedly claimed about Ubisoft ‘stole’ the plot from his books and used it for the series. But why am I reporting it so late? Well, it’s because once this came up on the internet I decided why not get a complete picture of the issue and then give a detailed report on it. So, I’ve divided this post into a few segments to explain the process of the complaint filed and the reactions of the company as well as the fans. Read on…
You can also cycle through the parts from here…
Part 1 – The Complaint
So, the name – John L. Beiswenger, suddenly jumps up onto the Internet, the News and what not. The author files a complaint against Ubisoft for Copyright Infringement. He gives a complete 11 points as to where the plots coincide and legally prove that his claims are genuine. You can view the Complete Complaint and Order Here. (I found the complaint here)
The author claims that the presence of duplicate content from his book, Link (2003) in the Assassin’s Creed Franchise cannot be a matter of just mere coincidence. Here is a little quote from the complaint which briefly explains the author’s plea.
23. In Link, the Plaintiff’s plot includes the conception and creation of a device and process whereby ancestral memories can be accessed, recalled, relived, and re-experienced by the user.
27. The Assassin’s Creed video game series’ plot is based on the Animus and Animus 2.0 device and process, through which the user accesses, relives, and re-experiences the memories of the user’s ancestor stored in the user’s DNA.
31. In Link, there are spiritual and biblical tones, with references made to Jesus and God, the Garden of Eden, and forbidden fruit.
32. In the Assassin’s Creed video game series and books, there are spiritual and biblical tones, with references made to various Gods, Adam and Eve, and relics called Pieces of Eden.
33. In Link, characters experience notable and accurate historical moments through their ancestors’ memories; this is a major plotline of Link.
34. In the Assassin’s Creed video game series, characters experience various historically accurate times in history through their ancestor’s memories; this is a major plotline of the Assassin’s Creed video games and books.
Also, upon going through the complete document I found ‘major’ similarities which shifted my belief of the author being just another door to door guy who saw his way to the news to Ubisoft not being completely innocent. The author now asks for mainly two things :-
- A Sum of One to Five million USD depending on the similarities seen plausible by the court of jurisdiction.
- The right for all the future Assassin’s Creed Media (Games, Books, Comics etc.) to be blocked.
Will the author be able to completely win over Ubisoft? Will they settle on an off-court agreement? Will the author’s complain perish and no actions would be taken? Will the Assassin’s Creed Franchise fall?
All these questions seem to pop up in every fan’s head and guess what, no one has a clue of the answers. Only time will tell.
Part 2 – Reactions
As expected, the reactions of the fans were not totally ‘sane’. The complaint was not taken in good regards and negative thoughts about the author rose in every ‘Assassin”s brain (Including Mine). So, what was the first thing that came to their mind?
No, not the river, it’s the website. The books published since 2003 received no comments until 2012. The comment and review areas on Amazon.com, Google Books and other featuring sites were flooded by negative comments, reviews and no stars at all. Maybe someone would be planning a real life ‘assassination’ too… (Just saying)
Also, Ubisoft doesn’t seem to stop the release of Assassin’s Creed III even after the court orders. No reaction? Not Expected At All…
Part 3 – My Opinion
The original process of the creation of Assassin’s Creed i.e. Prince of Persia : Assassins’ footage was even released within the few months of these proceedings by Audio designer Alain Lrose who posted a video about the projects he worked on during 2002-2009. The story of Assassin’s Creed being a derivative of Prince of Persia was an old and believable one but I doubt that I will believe it now… My question is Why was the footage released in midst of these issues and neither earlier nor after? The video was not available on the internet anymore as it was deleted by the user, but I found this :-
Someone kept a copy.
So, after I read the complaint filed – I have started believing John though I’m a die-hard Assassin’s Creed fan. I guess it’s because the complaint is so genuine or moreover, the 11 allegations seem completely legit.
- The similarity in the structure of ‘The Link’ and ‘The Animus’.
- The concept of living memories in first person perspective.
- Reliving major historical events such as assassinations of great leaders.
- ‘The Link’ still being used even if the subject is in the state of ‘coma’. (Assassin’s Creed Revelations)
- The ‘subjects’ talking to higher deities/beings.
His declarations completely make sense to me. I would take the author’s side here. I know I’m of the very few, negligible bunch of ‘stupid’ guys but still, this is intuition to me that the author isn’t lying.
Part 4 – My Resolutions
What do I know about court proceedings, right? But, a simple solution (if I were to suggest one) would be to have an off-court settlement and the acceptance of the allegations by Ubisoft. An apology to the writer and his name being added to the list of creators and storyline makers of the Assassin’s Creed Franchise.