GameSpot reports that Ubisoft has filed a lawsuit against Optical Experts Manufacturing, a disc replication firm based out of Charlotte, NC.
Optical Experts Manufacturing had been contracted to manufacture game discs for the PC version of Assassin's Creed, which was released this past April. According to Ubisoft, "an extraordinary breach of trust and gross negligence" led to one of the employees leaving the plant with a copy of the game some six weeks before the retail date.In taking the contract, OEM had to agree to security procedures that would've prevented such a leak. One of these procedures, Ubisoft alleges, is that no copy would ever leave OEM's premises.
NPD indicates that the PC version of Assassin's Creed sold only some 40,000 copies through June, nothing compared to the stellar sales on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. According to Ubisoft the version that ended up early on the internet was downloaded more than 700,000 times.
Making matters worse according to Ubisoft, is that the earlier version of Assassin's Creed contained a bug (for security reasons) that would make the game crash half-way through. Though supposedly this bug was not in the final release, the mix of reviews based on the buggy release as well those based on the retail version "created customer confusion and caused 'irreparable harm' to [Ubisoft's] reputation".All in all, Ubisoft is suing OEM for copyright infringement, breach of contract, negligence. For the breach of contract and negligence, the publisher is looking for at least $10 million in damages.