Studio Wildcard and Dungeon Defenders creator settle non-compete lawsuit

Developer pays undisclosed sum to Trendy Entertainment in response to accusation that former creative director Jeremy Stieglitz worked in secret on Ark: Survival Evolved
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Studio Wildcard, the creator of Ark: Survival Evolved, has settled a lawsuit with Dungeon Defenders developer Trendy Entertainment for an undisclosed sum.

Trendy sued Wildcard late last year, claiming that its former creative director Jeremy Stieglitz had breached the terms of his non-compete contract by working on Ark in secret.

Stieglitz’ contract allegedly allowed Trendy and its parent firm Insight Ventures to claim up to a 20 per cent share in any game projects he contributed to within a year of leaving the studio, in return for a reduction in the non-compete tenure from three years, as requested upon Stieglitz’ departure.

If the claims are accurate, Stieglitz’ non-compete would have ended in the middle of 2015, but Trendy believes that Stieglitz worked on Ark for several months while still under the restriction.

Jesse Rapczak, who co-founded Wildcard alongside Stieglitz’ wife, Susan, previously stated that the ex-Trendy employee had merely acted as a ‘consultant’ on Ark.

"Stieglitz took Insight's money, developed a new game in violation of all of his contractual obligations, and then together with his wife and Wildcard schemed to deny Insight the very rights that he had promised in his new business," the initial lawsuit argued (via Gamasutra).

While the settlement’s value remains undisclosed, it’s likely to be big money; Insight recently claimed that Jeremy Stieglitz personally owes the studio $26 million, while Susan Stieglitz tweeted on April 12th: “Lol they want 600 million”.

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