Update 18 April, 2016: The legal battle between Studio Wildcard and Trendy Entertainment has been settled. Gamasutra reports that court documents for the settlement were filed last week, but terms have not been disclosed.
Insight Ventures, owner of Trendy, claimed that their former creative director Jeremy Stieglitz owed them “$26 million”, while Stieglitz’s wife Susan stated on Twitter that the firm was seeking $600 million. As the terms have not been disclosed it’s unclear if Insight were able to secure this amount, but Studio Wildcard have agreed to settle with a sum.
That sum does have the potential to be in the millions of dollars region, as part of Stieglitz’s contract at Trendy stated that he was to provide a 20% share in any game-related activities he took part in for five years, as well as offer a “right of first refusal” on the “remaining 80% of such activities”.
Original story: Studio Wildcard are being forced to lawyer up and get their defence on after Trendy Entertainment, developers of Dungeon Defenders, have issued a lawsuit claiming one of their former employers quit their job to work in secret – and against their contract – on Ark: Survival Evolved.
Ark is one of the best survival games you can play on PC.
Kotaku have published an investigation into the lawsuit, which was filed late last year, in which Trendy Entertainment claim that former creative director Jeremy Stieglitz breached his contract when he resigned from his position in 2014. The studio claims he had agreements not to compete with Trendy, nor solicit their employees, and allege that Stieglitz breached these terms by immediately going to work secretly on Ark.
They further claim that Stieglitz’s actions “have had a devastating impact on Trendy’s business” and say that Ark is directly competing with Dungeon Defenders for players and development talent.
In response, Studio Wildcard have denied that Stieglitz played a major role in the production of Ark, stating instead that he occupied a consulting position.
Wildcard’s lawyers have yet to file a response, but released a statement: “Trendy’s Complaint reads more like a salacious tabloid story than a short and plain statement of the ultimate facts allegedly showing Trendy’s entitlement to relief, as required by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. Many of the allegations are disparaging and included simply to be provocative. They are irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous. As such, these allegations should be stricken.”
Should Trendy find success in their legal activities, Ark could be put into temporary development stasis, and the game could be pulled from Steam until the lawsuit is completed.