Studio Wildcard, the creators of Ark Survival Evolved, had been sued by Trendy Entertainment last year for an undisclosed sum. The lawsuit was settled yesterday for $40 million, a much smaller amount than intended.
Trendy filed this lawsuit due to Jeremy Stieglitz, the former president of Trendy and husband of Susan Stieglitz, leaving Trendy to work alongside his wife at Wildcard on Ark Survival Evolved. Jeremy had signed a non-compete agreement with Trendy, stating that he could not ‘poach’ any of his old Trendy co-workers for his new company, which he allegedly had done.
Claiming that Jeremy had directly broken contract, Trendy stated that he owed a sum of at least $26 million. Originally Trendy and its parent company Insight Ventures stated “In short, Stieglitz took Insight’s money, developed a new game in violation of all 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. Accordingly, Insight has been left with no choice but to file this lawsuit to obtain what Stieglitz promised.” Despite the court order asking for $26 million Trendy expected to receive a much more. The co-founder of Studio Wildcard, Susan Stieglitz, tweeted on April 12 that Trendy was demanding $600 million.
Trendy and Insight pushed their suit in court claiming the Stieglitz robbed them of millions of dollars in profits and intellectual property. Statements included accusations of evading debts by stashing fortunes in international banks and hiding assets overseas, and the usage of Susan’s maiden name to hide Stieglitz involvement in Wildcard. “The Stieglitz will stop at nothing to block Trendy and Insight from successfully collecting their debts.” Trendy claimed.
In the end, Studio Wildcard shoveled out $40 million to Trendy Entertainment, and the suit was dropped. Did the Stieglitz couple hide assets and funds to avoid a bigger lawsuit? Maybe more evidence will come forth down the line, but for now the issue is settled.