April 18, 2012 at 6:05 PM ET
John L. Beiswenger is a science fiction novelist whose 2003 book, "Link," has many similarities to Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed," according to the author. To the degree that Beiswenger has decided to sue the publisher for idea theft.
According to Destructoid's report, the novel, which predates the first game by five years, contains a "Bio-synthesizer." It allows people to access and experience the memories of their ancestors, and re-live historical moments, which is similar to the "Animus" that does basically the same thing in all the games.
Other similarities include spiritual and biblical overtones, plus direct references to Jesus Christ, God, the Garden of Eden, and the Forbidden Fruit. All hallmarks of the "Assassin's Creed" games as well.
Beiswenger is seeking a minimum of $1.05 million in damage, and an upwards of $5.25 million if the judge sees fit. The suit covers four games, guidebooks, comic book tie-ins, and even associated trailers. Which is why, in the case of the latter, GameTrailers is also being sued as well, which Kotaku points out.
The suit is also asking for the production of the upcoming "Assassin's Creed 3" be halted as well.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.