Gamers Review-Bomb 'Link' Book over Ubisoft Lawsuit

April 20, 2012 -

Link, the 2001 sci-fi fantasy book at the center of a lawsuit filed against Ubisoft and GameTrailers, is getting review bombed by angry gamers. Beiswenger, who is also a research engineer that holds over 20 U.S. utility patents, published his novel Link in 2002. The first Assassin's Creed video game was released in 2007. In his lawsuit against Ubisoft and GameTrailers, he alleges that Ubisoft stole core ideas from his book and used them in their games. He is asking the court to halt any further infringement of his copyright and is demanding damages of up to $5.25 million.

The Amazon product page for the book now has 55 reviews, the majority of which are recent. Fans, angry that the author of the book is suing Ubisoft over the Assassin’s Creed franchise have decided to review bomb the book on Amazon. Ninety-nine percent of those reviews are negative, snarky and downright angry, giving the book one star. While one might argue that review bombing is an effective way to protest a product, doing it long after a product has been release probably won't have any detrimental effect on sales - because sales are few and far between at this point. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped angry gamers content to slam the book for being associated with the lawsuit.

Here's a sample one-star review:

"Published in 1981, the short story "They Died Twice" by Alan Hathaway included, among other things, a machine developed for the express purpose of delving into ancestral memories. "Link" is a clear rip-off of this now 31 year old classic tale. While this reviewer would nominally ignore such things as there is no such thing as a new idea, the author's insistence of suing a company for essentially the same thing he did in 2003 deserves a low rating."

And another:

"I came across this book following a story I saw on the internet recently; and, despite everything, I thought I would give it a chance. However, after reading through the first 100 pages, I can confirm his book is appalling. It piggy-backs half-baked and hideously re-constituted ideas from sources which are themselves of questionable quality, and is generally very boring. Not to mention the questionable agenda 'behind' it all: the author appears, at times, to be rather detached from reality, and in a bad way."

And another:

"Please do not purchase this book. The author claims that a game that came out much later than the book is preventing people from distinguishing the two and also preventing to line his pockets with cash. Little does he know, the reason why this book is not selling is because it's actually just a terrible book. Whether or not you are aware of his lawsuit against Ubisoft, what this man is doing is simply wrong."

You get the idea. As a counter argument, here's a review of the book from 2007 from someone who may have actually read it:

"Link, by John L. Beiswenger reads like science fiction, but is based off of theory and science that could be fact. Much like Michael Crichton, he combines various disciplines of technical knowledge to not only add authenticity to the subject matter, but leaves you thinking about the ramifications of the material if it is indeed true.

The writing style itself is very engaging, and the author uses great imagery in his descriptions to make you feel like you are at the table with the great minds in his book, making the same kind of discoveries. He also describes the theories in the book, as some of them are rather complex to understand. This book will make you think about the existence of God, as well as your own.

No matter what you may think of the actions of those participating in this review bomb protest, they have managed to bring the average rating of Link down to 1.7 stars.

Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip. "Cartoon Rocket Bomb" picture provided by Shutterstock.


Re: Gamers Review-Bomb 'Link' Book over Ubisoft Lawsuit

What's sad, to me, is how a strong proportion (albeit not all) of U.S. citizens have simply no faith in their court system... Judged by peer, numerous appeal possibility, can overturn unconstitutional laws or make exceptions... It might not be the best, but it's still good (especially compared to the 2 other branches.) It's only when people find a need for it than suddenly they feel they were wrong about all those other times (and not even always...) And worse, it's not even that people disagree with court judgments most of the time, it's that they take what little filters in the media and decide outright what they believe is true in that case...

Re: Gamers Review-Bomb 'Link' Book over Ubisoft Lawsuit

The positive review looks like something that was written either by a friend of the author or the author himself...


Oh and yeah, the review bombers are idiots, even the ones that at least put the effort of pointing out that the elements of "his" story aren't in the least original, nor his. GP already has a story though exposing this guy for what he really is.

Re: Gamers Review-Bomb 'Link' Book over Ubisoft Lawsuit

Not that this is relevant at all, but does anybody else think that looks like one of those placeholder book covers for when they don't have a picture of the real cover?  Looks like something someone threw together in the last 5 minutes of the day on a sunny Friday afternoon.

Re: Gamers Review-Bomb 'Link' Book over Ubisoft Lawsuit

The first thing that occurred to me when this story broke was that this guy was going to get review bombed.  Its interesting to look at the numbers.  46 people were angry enough to give 1 star. 5 were only miffed and gave 3 stars. Finally 6 people were angry at the gamers for what they were doing and gave 5 stars in order to counteract them.

Re: Gamers Review-Bomb 'Link' Book over Ubisoft Lawsuit

Remember last week when I said, "You know, sometimes I just love the gamer community."?

This is not one of those times.


Andrew Eisen

Re: Gamers Review-Bomb 'Link' Book over Ubisoft Lawsuit

What is really sad is that the book is still full price. Has no alternative sellers either new or used and only has a $0.76 trade in value from Amazon. I think all that is worse for it than the review scores.

Re: Gamers Review-Bomb 'Link' Book over Ubisoft Lawsuit

That just tells me that his book is doing horribly and he's looking for some easy cash.

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