Sorry Beiswenger, We're Not Buying This
Novelist John Beiswenger is suing Ubisoft for allegedly infringing his copyright in the plot of the original Assassin's Creed; the author's novel, "Link," apparently utilizes many of the same themes and ideas.
Unsurprisingly, this lawsuit, which could feasibly delay the hotly anticipated launch of this year's Assassin's Creed III, has resulted in a slew of negative reactions on the part of gamers. As usual, some of those reactions are embarrassingly childish (this industry still has to suffer through such adolescent crap), but many are rational, logical, and perfectly viable.
Beiswenger's lawyer Kelley Keller responded to the backlash by making a few lawyer-esque comments that admittedly made my eyes glaze over. I just know the author is seeking up to $5.25 million in damages and in response to the, "why wait five years?" question, Keller replied:
"The claim has been brought within the applicable time periods required under the law."
Mm-hm. Now, I'm not saying the author was aware of the situation when the original AC debuted back in 2007; honestly, the only way that happened is if Beiswenger is a gamer (and I don't think he is). But nowadays, the franchise is much, much bigger and more frequently in the public eye. There has been time for certain information to come the author's way, and he probably noticed that AC had generated substantial revenue for Ubisoft. That being said, can't we at least be a trifle honest?
The Assassin's Creed name is worth a lot of money. "Link" probably didn't bring in anything close five million bucks. There's enough coincidence to make a worthy case. ...might as well go for it. Of course, it's too much to hope for that Beiswenger will make such an admission, but if AC hadn't gone anywhere, we all know we wouldn't be looking at any such lawsuit. Furthermore, hiding behind a lawyer won't serve to stave off gamer anger, and only makes you look guilty. I would suggest to this author that he issues a statement of his own that might - emphasis on "might" - appease the irate AC fans. Defend yourself in some capacity.
At least do that. Be a man. Everyone over on this side of the fence thinks it's painfully obvious what you're doing. ...then again, maybe you don't really care. That's quite possible.
5/9/2012 8:50:35 PM Ben Dutka