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Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
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Novelist Claims Video Game Plagiarized

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CN) - A novelist demands millions of dollars from video game-maker Ubisoft, claiming it used his book to create the "Assassin's Creed" video game series and spinoffs.

John L. Beiswenger sued Ubisoft Entertainment and affiliates for copyright infringement, in Federal Court.

He claims Ubisoft based its popular game on his book, "Link" a Novel," which features a device that enables humans to recall their ancestors' memories, passed on through DNA.

Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed" was released for multiple gaming platforms, along with three updated versions, "Complete Official" guides, an encyclopedia, game trailers and a comic book series, created by DC Comics.

Beiswenger claims this his book "includes the conception and creation of a device and process whereby ancestral memories can be accessed, recalled, relived, and re-experienced by the user."

He says throughout the novel references are made to assassins and assassinations related to the "Bio-synchronizer" device, which is integral to the plot.

Beiswenger claims the plot of the "Assassin's Creed" series is based on similar Animus and Animus 2.0 devices, through which a user can relive, and re-experience the memories of the user's ancestor stored in DNA.

The complaint sites excerpts from Link and compares them to scenes in the Assassin games, pointing out characters in both who speak in first person when using a memory-recall device.

Beiswenger claims that both "Link" and "Assassin" use the plot device of ancient memories passed on to children, both have biblical tones, with references to Jesus and God, the Garden of Eden and forbidden fruit, and both have major plot lines that revolve around characters who experience "notable and accurate historical moments through their ancestor's memories."

Beiswenger claims that the recurring them of a battle between good and evil, with good protecting a memory-recall device from the evil, who try to steal it, the depiction of the actual memory-recall device and phrases such as "ancestral memories," "link," "synchronize," and "assassins" were also copied.

Beiswenger seeks $5.25 million in damages for copyright infringement, legal fees and an injunction.

He is represented by Kelley Clements Keller, of Carlisle, Pa.

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