As big fans of Ubisoft recent PS3 offering Assassin’s Creed, news of the games manufacturer suing US duplication firm Optical Experts Manufacturing for $10 million after an early PC version leaked onto the internet, was news that certainly interested us.
Ubisoft has claimed that USD was directly responsible for the leak that happened in late February 2008, six weeks prior to the games official release.
According to a report on Gamespot, OEM ignored security protocols which would have prevented the leak. The contract that Ubisoft signed with OEM apparently stipulated that the code for the game would be held in top-level security and that no copies of the game would be allowed to leave the premises without permission. It is thought that an employee of the firm took the game home and uploaded it to internet.
The source of the leak was tracked down to the house of an employee of OEM. An OEM-manufactured copy of the game was later found at the employee’s residence, though the suit doesn’t specify when that copy was found.
Ubisoft has said that the security breach is directly responsible for 700,000 pirates downloads of game, including 25,000 downloads in one day from torrent site Yowzers.
Ubisoft described the breech as “an extraordinary breach of trust and gross negligence”
It also became clear in the report that the copy released was not the finished version of the game, and as a fail safe included a deliberate bug for security reasons causing the game to crash half way through.
As the game was released a short time after the breech it is believed that numerous reviews were written on the pirate version, causing “irreparable harm” to Ubi’s reputation.
As part of the legal action OEM now faces the full wrath of Ubisoft’s legal muscle, and is being sued for breach of contract, negligence and copyright infringement, with damages and legal fees also sought for the three claims to the tune of USD10 million.