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 Ark  dev settles lawsuit over game's origins and staff

Ark dev settles lawsuit over game's origins and staff

April 15, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

This week Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard agreed to settle a lawsuit with Trendy Entertainment owner Insight Ventures for an undisclosed sum.

The lawsuit, filed late last year, is worth noting because it alleged that former Trendy president Jeremy Stieglitz violated a non-compete agreement by helping develop Wildcard's hit game Ark alongside staff he poached from Trendy.

Wildcard was cofounded in 2014 by Jesse Rapczak and Stieglitz's wife Susan Stieglitz. In that same year, Jeremy Stieglitz allegedly signed a non-compete agreement upon leaving Trendy that included, among other things, a clause that required him to offer Insight a 20 percent share in any game-related activities he engaged in for five years following his departure, along with a "right of first refusal" on the remaining 80 percent of such activities.

"In short, 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," read the original complaint filed by Insight in Florida court last year. "Accordingly, Insight has been left with no choice but to file this lawsuit to obtain what Stieglitz promised."

While today's settlement does not disclose terms, the stakes of the case are in the millions; Insight alleged that the Stieglitz's stashed millions in offshore accounts and that Jeremy Stieglitz "owes Insight $26 million alone" in a court filing earlier this month. Susan Stieglitz later tweeted that "they want 600 million."

Gamasutra reached out to representatives of both Trendy and Wildcard for further details, and was told by the former that Trendy has no comment at this time.

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