French publisher and developer Ubisoft is suing disc manufacturer Optical Experts Manufacturing (OEM), blaming the North Carolina-based company for the leak of the PC version of Assassin's Creed
onto the Internet earlier this year.
According to Ubisoft, the pirated version of the game was downloaded 700,000 times, compared to retail sales of just 40,000 units. The company is claiming a loss of revenues as a result of the leak and of reputation - since a bug was intentionally placed in the pre-release version for security reasons.
Pirated copies of the PC version of the game were widely available online six weeks before the game's release in April 2008. According to a report by consumer website GameSpot, an employee was allowed
to take a copy of the game home and then subsequently posted it online.
In so doing Ubisoft alleges that OEM ignored pre-arranged security measures and that the company has already admitted to causing the leak. Ubisoft also ascertains that an OEM manufactured copy of the game was found at the employee's residence, after tracing copies of the pirated version to the same address.
GameSpot reports that Ubisoft is seeking $10 million, citing copyright infringement, breach of contract and negligence on the part of OEM.