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."
"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."
"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.