Ark: Survival Evolved’s developer, Studio Wildcard, is being sued by Trendy Entertainment, developer of Dungeon Defenders, over allegations of breach of contract by a former employee of the latter.
A rather exhaustive investigation has been put together over on Kotaku, but the main points being made are that Trendy alleges Jeremy Stieglitz, former game designer at the studio, went against his contract in soliciting Trendy employees, and that it has had a negative impact on Trendy as a whole, with the studio’s Dungeon Defenders up against Ark both in terms of players and development talent.
The gist of the complaint alleges that Stieglitz solicited employees for work on a new project outside of the studio, thus violating his non-compete clause. Said allegations point to the set up of Studio Wildcard and eventual development of Ark: Survival Evolved.
The allegations also put Stieglitz as a core figure in Wildcard and Ark’s development – a position denied by the studio’s employees, who have only gone so far as to say he ‘consulted’ on Ark.
Wildcard hasn’t, at the time of writing, filed its response – but its lawyers have released a statement reading thusly:
“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.”
There’s a lot going on over there, and litigation is still ongoing. It’s definitely one to keep an eye on – especially if Trendy’s move to place an injunction on Wildcard’s operations would mean Ark’s potential suspension/removal from sale and active development.