Assassin’s Creed III In Trouble?

John L. Beiswenger is not a happy man.

As of last week, the science fiction author stepped forward and served up some papers to Ubisoft, announcing that he was suing the company for copyright infringement.

According to Beiswenger, the creators of the Assassin’s Creed franchise stole the main premise of his own novel Link, a story about a scientific discovery that allows for ancestral memory to be “accessed, recalled, relived, and re-experienced” via an invention similar to AC’s animus. He also claims that the book includes themes of assassins, the bible, the Garden of Eden, and the Forbidden Fruit.

The author is asking for damages from not only the four games released since 2007, but also the guide books, comic series, and two trailers. If his request is honored, he will receive an amount no less than $1.05 million dollars. And, if the judge rules that Ubisoft did in fact infringe on his copyrights, Beiswenger could walk away with as much as $5.25 million. He also requests that the court prevent the release of Assassin’s Creed III and anything related to it.

Now, allow me to say this: I am not a huge AC fan, so this story only mildly piqued my interest from the fan standpoint. The games always remind me of a Wal-Mart bakery cake; they look pretty good on the outside, but once I sit down and get into them, it’s a disappointment, like there was a lot of potential here, but something’s…missing.

However, what Beiswenger is trying to do here is ridiculous. In the world of fiction, there is no such thing as a new story; just a new way of telling it. Meaning that, with 6 billion people walking this planet, you’re going to encounter similar ideas between creative minds. What separates them from each other is the way they’re told. Now, if this author had written a story about a young man named Desmond who was accessing his memories via a machine called the Animus that allowed him to re-live the memories of his assassin ancestor named Altair, then he might have a more compelling case. But the thing is, the idea of genetic memory recall within the realm of science fiction is not new. In fact, after this story broke on the 18th, many fans went back and found that Beiswenger’s story is similar in premise to the 1981 Alan Hathaway work titled “They Died Twice,” which deals directly with similar ideas.

And I can’t help but feel that his motives are a little suspect. Why now? The original Assassin’s Creed was released in 2007. Why wasn’t Beiswenger all over it then? Sadly, his timing and claims really only make him sound like a disgruntled author who’s simply jealous of the success of a similar franchise.

Just go play some games, John. You’ll fell better.


  • Dean Martin

    oh dear, you do have to feel for the guy a little bit, it does seem very very similer lol pretty much the entire story of AC

  • Mantas

    I stopped reading this article when you compared the series to a WalMart cake. You suck; the game doesn’t.

    • Anon

      Someone has an opinion that differs from yours!?! 
      Well, bugger me!

    • Querr Tee You Ee Op

       Yup, that makes sense, someone doesn’t agree with you, so you insult them.

      Question: are you in a relationship, or did you give up on that as easily as you gave up on reading this article?

  • Vorec

    i read tons of books ive never heard of this author,  to win he has to prove that not only did ubisoft read his work, but that players of the ac games would have bought his book instead… not happening 

    at most hell be offered a pittence license fee 


      He’s a small-time Christian author. He really has no case because no one outside of his small community has read it :p

      • Guess1234

        Him being a small time Christian has no bearing on this case. It also doesn’t matter how many people have read his book. He’s suing for royalties, not for whether his book sold well or didn’t. He’s suing for claims that it was his idea, his creation. If he can provide valid proof, then he has a chance.

  • Sideras

    I started writing a story very similar to alan wake some months before I actually heard what alan wake was actually about. Coincidences happen, we can start looking at alot of stories and see similarities. This guy sounds like an ass tbh.

  • BadName

    Considering that EACH of these games has generated around $1/2 Billion in revenue, I imagine that AC3 is far from trouble. But then again, if you had bothered to look up the sales figures then I guess you wouldn’t have written something so childish. 

    • The Guest

      Why is it childish? 
      The plaintiff is trying to prevent Assassin’s Creed III from being released. It doesn’t matter how much the other games sold if this game doesn’t hit store shelves. 

      • BadName

        Read and comprehend. Each SINGULAR game has produced over $1/2 billion in revenue.  EACH ONE. The lawsuit is over petty change and more than likely a name in the credits. A none story, unless . . .  you are a moron.

        • Jesus

            Assassin’s creed does not make in the billions per installment, sales
          did not even scratch 10 million for Revelations. Call of Duty had to
          sell around 15 million copies (and at a higher price). Taking into
          account the larger development teams for AC aswell, a few million is not “petty change”.

          • Joseph Kozachek

            Last I checked the Assassin’s Creed games and CoD both sold for $60 a pop, CoD does not sell for a higher price.

  • Gyigyo

     ‘ He also requests that the court prevent the release of Assassin’s Creed III and anything related to it.’

    your all idiot in here except one: the guest…

     “doesn’t matter how much the other games sold if this game doesn’t hit store shelves. “

    • BadName

      Thats not how it works, except on TV. 

  • StoutBEER

    About to be stupid but, try cancelling AC3 ( very much doubt it) but youll have a bunch of disgruntled fans on your door step. What would you do for a Klondike bar?” Would you…would you kill a man?”

  • Bengali

    That’s what we call a copycat

  • Bengali

    Question could be: if Ubisoft attacked Weisenberg for his fiction, would they win because they are selling billions ?
    The weak think that the biggest wins. That’s not how life is intended to be. Certified.

    • BadName

      Welcome to the real world honey, after next week you will never here of this story again. I feel like I’m talking to 14 year olds who have an entitled sense of altruism yet have no idea what that means.

  • Hhm

    Ubisoft=f***** plagiarism!!!!

  • Joker
  • Michael Hardbodi Mcwhorter

    Ubisoft did it soo what if the have to pay this guy 5+million. There going to court so this guy cant stop the next release in the series,lol.

  • Manojvarughese

     “Why wasn’t Beiswenger all over it then? Sadly, his timing and claims
    really only make him sound like a disgruntled author who’s simply
    jealous of the success of a similar franchise.” Period.

  • D3mun

    Or you know, he could do a more sensible thing and hop in on the popularity and re-publish his work

  • Rory

    *7 billion people

  • Engineer

    Just because something is similar doesn’t mean it’s a stolen idea. It sounds like this author is just butt-hurt and his sales are really low, so he’s trying to make some cash.

  • A. Knight

    I agree. I, myself, am a huge Assassin’s Creed fan. I’ve bought every game and such. The first time I heard about this guy who’s suing, I was wondering why it took him so damn long to do something like this. It sounds like a desperate money-grab to me. Maybe he should just drop the case, because it seems like his novel is being compared to that of another one. Now, if he doesn’t get sued himself for having the same ideas as said author and getting it published, then obviously there are significant differences between his novel and the original. So, why can’t it be that way with Assassin’s Creed? Money. Grab. Period. 

  • Usrev2

    I too, don’t care much for AC, it is always a disappointment, the 2nd one was the best but i lasted about 2 days then i was done with everything but find useless feathers.
    but the author guy just sounds mad

  • Leo Heinsuo

    “In the world of fiction, there is no such thing as a new story; just a new way of telling it.”So you’re saying all these stories have ALWAYS been around and none have ever been come up with by humans? You mean that God gave us the first stories covering all possible grounds?  Sure thing, boss. In case, however, if it is not your intention to imply such things, you still make no sense at all. BTW, perhaps you could help me remember where the story of Inception previously appeared.

    • Matt

       Attacking that statement shows more ignorance than I can comprehend. Someone needs to read more stories or at least attend a competent literature course. Cassidee’s statement is true, in the absolute sense.

      • Bro

         How much ignorance can you comprehend?

  • Apple33

    settle for half a million ubisoft and then go on with your life. Simple.

  • THOR

    There are 7,038,033,382 and counting… not 6 billion people on this planet.

    ps: this John L. Beiswenger will NOT get a dime from Ubisoft lol