Ubisoft is not amused about the 700,000-some copies of Assassin’s Creed that spread like wildfire around the web six weeks before the game was available at retail stores. Ubisoft has tracked the initial leak back to Optical Experts Manufacturing, the company in charge of producing copies of the game for sale. It was found that an employee of the company had taken the game home and leaked it out onto the internet, which Ubisoft called “an extraordinary breach of trust and gross negligence.”
What’s interesting is that, not only is Ubisoft suing the company lost sales, it’s also suing the company for irreparable harm to Ubisoft’s reputation. Why? Because in order to prevent piracy, Ubisoft had planted a bug in the game up until the final version that purposely caused it to crash halfway through. As it turns out, a fair amount of video game reviewers had been reviewing pirated copies of the game and gave it lower scores because of the apparent instability.
The final legal tally adds up to copyright infringement, breach of contract, and negligence, plus a recuperation of legal fees for all three claims, plus at least $10 million each in damages for the negligence and breach of contract claims.