Author Claims Assassin's Creed Set-Up Was His Idea

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Author Claims Assassin's Creed Set-Up Was His Idea

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John Beiswenger is suing Ubisoft for allegedly basing the Animus on his ideas.

With the recent announcement of Assassin's Creed 3 still sneaking its way around the internet's collective consciousness, there's never been a better time than right now to attempt to sue developer Ubisoft for basing this successful franchise on a book you wrote in 2003. As luck would have it, that is exactly what author John Beiswenger is trying to do.

Beiswenger contends that the Animus, a genetic memory access machine which stands as the center-piece of the Assassin's Creed games, borrows far too liberally from a similar device he dreamt up in his 2003 novel Link. As his novel was the first to feature specifically "the conception and creation of a link device and process whereby ancestral memories can be accessed, recalled, relived, and re-experienced by the user," he's called dibs. Beiswenger is reportedly attempting to block the release of Assassin's Creed 3 until the case is resolved.

In the complaint, Beiswenger also draws attention to how both Assassin's Creed and Link spend a lot of time talking about religion, the Garden of Eden, assassins, and "good vs. evil" factions attemping to control memory devices.

The immediate question is this: How much do Link and Assassin's Creed really have in common? According to its Amazon description, Link is mostly about a scientific discovery which "suggests that at the functional center of the nucleus of every cell is an atemporal Particle of zero mass and infinite capacity for memory a biological singularity [sic]. The same Particle is a component of every cell in the body. It is the "fabric of the soul.""

The description continues: "The author lets the reader be present right alongside the scientists as they uncover some of the very secrets of Creation, and while test subjects are taken back in time to recall ancestral memories, a process key to proving the existence of the human soul."

I have to say, this isn't sounding very Assassin's Creed-esque. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Animus is a machine based purely on biology, no? The memories are genetic in nature, rather than being part of some zero-mass particle party. Nobody's on a mission to prove or disprove the existence of the human soul. Religion is mentioned particularly in the first Assassin's Creed because it, well, is set during the Third Crusade.

As for the rest of it, we'll keep an eye on Beiswenger's case to see if it goes anywhere. Have any of you read Link before? A brief preview of its opening pages is available on Amazon, and I have to say that they don't bear any resemblance to Assassin's Creed. Not one assassin becomes comically involved with a well-placed hay bale; the "Link" is a device which allows someone to insert their memories of kayaking into a virtual reality kayaking experience, rather than cut about Venice hundreds of years ago. Link fans, make yourselves known!

Source: Patent Arcade via Eurogamer

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Okay...

Why did he not sue over this 4 Assasins Creed installments ago?

gigastar:
Okay...

Why did he not sue over this 4 Assasins Creed installments ago?

you know thats my thought too. If hey came out againts them when the first AC came out I could give him a bit more credit. This just seems like a money grab to me. I mean even if they based it of his book I think its different enough "that's cool idea what if we used that kind of idea in our game"

gigastar:
Okay...

Why did he not sue over this 4 Assasins Creed installments ago?

... Might not be a gamer?

Did you guys see the tagline on his novel?

John Beiswenger:
What better place to look beyond than through the mind of one who saw to that point but no further?

...

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

leahzero:
Did you guys see the tagline on his novel?

John Beiswenger:
What better place to look beyond than through the mind of one who saw to that point but no further?

...

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

I'm not sure what's weirder. This guy suing now after 4 games, or the fact that I could actually understand that tagline. Don't ask me to put it into simpler terms though, I'm not that skilled with the English language.

leahzero:
Did you guys see the tagline on his novel?

John Beiswenger:
What better place to look beyond than through the mind of one who saw to that point but no further?

...

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

If that got you, you'll love the preview of the first pages. The use of the English language is, well, innovative, to say the least. I don't think the word "caused" has had that much fun since Link was published.

Cheap publicity for this guy. I hope he doesn't sell a single book.

Yep, that's pretty much it.

Not a Link fan, nor even heard of it, but that's not that hard to fathom. My question is ninja'd seen here:

gigastar:
Okay...

Why did he not sue over this 4 Assasins Creed installments ago?

If not more, even. There were what, two spin off games? A spin off comic? At least two books? There's been plenty of time to pipe up about this, so other than just getting his name out there by causing hubbub, I see no point to this.

I trust this frivolous little obstacle to my tomahawking redcoats in the face will only be Templarary.

BehattedWanderer:
Not a Link fan, nor even heard of it, but that's not that hard to fathom. My question is ninja'd seen here:

gigastar:
Okay...

Why did he not sue over this 4 Assasins Creed installments ago?

If not more, even. There were what, two spin off games? A spin off comic? At least two books? There's been plenty of time to pipe up about this, so other than just getting his name out there by causing hubbub, I see no point to this.

Well... when i wrote that i was referring to 2, Bloodlines, Brotherhood and Revelations.

However a quick factfinding quest to Tvtropes reveals there are 4 released spinoff games, a comic, 4 novels and 3 short films.

The brand had permeated many mediums. Even if its not that great outside of the gaming world, i would find it quite difficult to miss for this long.

It took him this long sue them?

Besides, this has been done before in many stories, not just him.

He's probobly desperate for money, seeing as how his book is not very popular. He'll lose, I kinda want him to for being an idiot on this.

Right, I'm sure the massive game franchise is stolen from the small book by an unknown author. If he really had a case, he would have done this long ago, he's just trying to drum up sales for his book.

The first poster already said what I wanted to say. First game got out 5 years ago. I love how these "I'm suing because you totally stole my idea" people are always kinda late to the party. Like they have been evaluating if the franchise that "stole" from them will become famous enough for them to do some money-grabbing. Also, they all seem to be poor at grasping the fact that most ideas humans have are quite similar. There's probably tons of people who had similar ideas to the Animus; just because two thing might bare some similarities, does not mean one stole from the other. It could simply be a coincidence.

Kinguendo:

gigastar:
Okay...

Why did he not sue over this 4 Assasins Creed installments ago?

... Might not be a gamer?

Still, AC games are quite well-known even among non-gamers. I know plenty of people who don't play games, but know about Assassin's Creed. But of course, it's perfectly possible that he didn't know about an insanely popular game franchise. However, why on Earth does he believe that Ubisoft has heard of, let alone read, his completely unknown and non-marketed book, which is, above all, only self-published?

after reading some posts and some wheel spinning of my own i think he's suing now since its been so popular its time to jump in an see if they can get some money out of it since maybe his book didn't do as well as he hoped

Honestly, it doesn't reflect well on him that it has taken this long for him to become aware of this series (or that he didn't do anything till the 4th installment). However, it isn't impossible that the ideas could have been lifted, though I doubt they were, and expect any court case that comes of this to support that conclusion.

Simply because it is relatively obscure doesn't mean it isn't possible to steal from it; rather, makes it somewhat easier because it is less likely people will call you out on similarities.

However, the genetic memory thing is far from a unique idea. The Garden of Eden, etc, stuff would be what decides it, but I haven't read his book or played much AC to know for sure.

So, some author I've never heard of before claims something well too late to really do anything about it.

ReCaptcha: attila the hun. Dafuq? Does Attila the Hun want to do something about Mr. Beiswenger?

Now we sit back and munch our popcorn while this idiot has his ass handed to him by the legal system. *claps hands* Tattoo, moar butter please!!

i totally came up with an idea for a teenage wizard in a british school in like 1987. with like gay magic and wands or something. potter owes me billions.

What a sad, sad attempt at money-grubbing. Hey may of, MAY OF, had somewhat of a weak case had he restricted himself to Ubisoft. Yet he's throwing his worn out hat at Gametrailers too? And for what you may ask? For showing some videos of Assassin's Creed.

He may as well of tried suing Al Gore because the internet had videos that harmed his "unique" ideas.

I'm not surprised though, from the look of things the guy is a literary hack. Heck its obvious he isn't making any money off these books to begin with, looking at the covers of them, he's probably having his kids throw things together in Microsoft Paint.

Also his website? His website? Don't get me started on that...! It may not be the worst thing I've witnessed, but with all the random pictures shoved in there, he might as well just use a facebook account for his site.

Also, my Captcha has a few words on this, it "have an inkling" this suit is gonna fail, hardcore.

KeyMaster45:

Now we sit back and munch our popcorn while this idiot has his ass handed to him by the legal system. *claps hands* Tattoo, moar butter please!!

I think you vastly underestimate how stupid the US legal system really is.

Sylveria:

KeyMaster45:

Now we sit back and munch our popcorn while this idiot has his ass handed to him by the legal system. *claps hands* Tattoo, moar butter please!!

I think you vastly underestimate how stupid the US legal system really is.

i was thinking the same thing

tony2077:

Sylveria:

KeyMaster45:

Now we sit back and munch our popcorn while this idiot has his ass handed to him by the legal system. *claps hands* Tattoo, moar butter please!!

I think you vastly underestimate how stupid the US legal system really is.

i was thinking the same thing

triples.

althou, as pointed out in this article, there are not enough connections to point out a constructive enough connection, so that, EVEN IF they used his idea, the ass creed ideology did not stray far enough from his books ideology.

tl dr: game is too different to be suable. prossecuted. whatever.

Maybe he waited on purpose to get more money? I don't know, I know jackshit about legalities.

I imagine the author sounds like this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KyQX45c3Qw

DVS BSTrD:
I trust this frivolous little obstacle to my tomahawking redcoats in the face will only be Templarary.

The delay, if any, won't be for long. His timing for the lawsuit already gives his case very little creedence.

As much as I want to see Ubisoft burn for plagiarism, this is not the case to do it with. "Troll" definitely fits this guy.

genetic memory has been a legitimate scientific idea for aaaaaages.
and the idea of a machine made to help one access them is a pretty logical leap, you can't own that.

Are you kidding me?

This idea is way older than both AC and this idiots book.

I can remember at least 1 Star Trek ToS episode that uses this, a Batman story arc, there's loads... I'm sure people can find countless examples.

Anyway, Ubisoft's crack team of ninja lawyers will most likely crush this guy like a bug.

In the case of Bethsoft Vs the Fallout Poster guy, I am rooting for the guy.
In this case however, I'm rooting for the big game company.

I support the side that's not being a douche.

Also you know... these things can and do happen by pure chance... unless you believe the guy who wrote the novel "Titan" in the 1890s about the worlds largest passenger ship sinking after hitting an iceberg must have traveled into the future to get his ideas, heh.

cursedseishi:
What a sad, sad attempt at money-grubbing. Hey may of, MAY OF, had somewhat of a weak case had he restricted himself to Ubisoft. Yet he's throwing his worn out hat at Gametrailers too? And for what you may ask? For showing some videos of Assassin's Creed.

He may as well of tried suing Al Gore because the internet had videos that harmed his "unique" ideas.

I'm not surprised though, from the look of things the guy is a literary hack. Heck its obvious he isn't making any money off these books to begin with, looking at the covers of them, he's probably having his kids throw things together in Microsoft Paint.

Also his website? His website? Don't get me started on that...! It may not be the worst thing I've witnessed, but with all the random pictures shoved in there, he might as well just use a facebook account for his site.

Also, my Captcha has a few words on this, it "have an inkling" this suit is gonna fail, hardcore.

"Have" is a word. It sounds similar to "of" in hasty speech, but in text, the non-cringe-inducing practice is to write "may have" instead of "may of".

I know I sound like a grammar nazi here, but this is probably my first or second post in all my time at the Escapist where I pick at someone's grammar. Your post made me feel obligated to say something.

Oh for fuck's sake. This IP warmongering is killing efforts at creativity. "OMG I had the idea FURST!" If everyone went by that logic Tolkein's estate would have prevented the development of 90% of fantasy having been some of the first material to, for example, make elves tall and ethereal. Culture is built on re-purposing ideas.

And that's not even to begin on the fact that two people can come up with the same thing separately.

after 4 great games, now he suddenly wants to sue them?

never heard of this book and AC goes in a totally different direction with the story. this idiot will make him self to an idiot. maybe his book dint do well and thought he will get more attention/sales that way.

well, lets see how he can compete with a multimillion company who can afford lawyers that will drag his sorry ass in to the dirt.

Beliyal:
The first poster already said what I wanted to say. First game got out 5 years ago. I love how these "I'm suing because you totally stole my idea" people are always kinda late to the party. Like they have been evaluating if the franchise that "stole" from them will become famous enough for them to do some money-grabbing. Also, they all seem to be poor at grasping the fact that most ideas humans have are quite similar. There's probably tons of people who had similar ideas to the Animus; just because two thing might bare some similarities, does not mean one stole from the other. It could simply be a coincidence.

Kinguendo:

gigastar:
Okay...

Why did he not sue over this 4 Assasins Creed installments ago?

... Might not be a gamer?

Still, AC games are quite well-known even among non-gamers. I know plenty of people who don't play games, but know about Assassin's Creed. But of course, it's perfectly possible that he didn't know about an insanely popular game franchise. However, why on Earth does he believe that Ubisoft has heard of, let alone read, his completely unknown and non-marketed book, which is, above all, only self-published?

While it is quite likely that he knew of the series, I'd say it's equally likely that a non-gamer wouldn't know about the sci fi, ancestors memories side of it. They'd just think it's a game about some assassin stabbing dudes.

That's, of course, beside the point, because I seriously doubt the asscreed guys actually did read his book.

As another aside, I don't like the way this news article is written, almost half of it is devoted to saying that the stories aren't about precisely the same thing, ignoring the fact that the opening line states that the lawsuit is mainly about the animus, and the rest is irrelevant. I know this is a gaming site, so you will naturally side with the gaming side, but you don't have to be quite so biased about it.

But still, the guy probably doesn't really deserve anything from this lawsuit and probably won't get anything. I'm off now anyway, gotta work on my game about a company that implants memories into peoples minds in lieu of going on holiday. Should be out Q3 2013

while most of these cases are money grubbing attempts, it is possible. as for someone waiting this long to make a claim. unless you know someone who plays it and describes assassins creed to you or you play it yourself you wouldnt know about the animus plot device.

i know from personal experience it was only a year or two ago when i sat down to play the first game that i first found out about it

It's amazing how, on his Amazon page, all these people decided to write a review on the same day (April 18, 2012) about the lack of talent the author posseses and mediocrity of this book. It's also amazing how it seems to coincide with the release of this article online.

So glad to see factual, non biased reviews on amazon from people who have clearly read the material and are totally not fanboys at all. Morons.

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