Montreal-based company Ubisoft target of $5-million copyright lawsuit

MONTREAL – An American author is suing Ubisoft claiming it stole his ideas to create the basic premise of the Assassin’s Creed video game series, developed in the company’s Montreal studio.

The Assassin’s Creed games are based on the concept of the main character using an Animus, which is a device that allows him to experience his ancestral memories.

Strasburg, Pennsylvania-based author John L. Beiswenger claims this idea is very similar to his book The Link, which was published in 2002. He said he wrote the books for scientific people who struggle with the idea of an almighty creator.

Beiswenger is claiming 35 instances of copyright infringement, and last week filed a suit in federal court in Harrisburg, PA, seeking more than $5 million in damages and an injunction against Ubisoft further infringing on his rights. That means the next instalment of the series: Assassin’s Creed III, which is due out in October, could be delayed by this suit.

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Beiswenger there are too many similarities in the stories in the video games for it to be mere coincidence.

“My initial reaction was, ‘Hey, that’s neat, they liked the book.’ But then when I found out how much they liked it and what the game was like, it didn’t relate to the book at all. I felt damaged at that point,” he told the newspaper The Sentinel.