Ark: Survival Evolved developers settle lawsuit with Trendy Entertainment

The heated suit dates back to December 2015, and was finally settled this week.


The lawsuit between Studio Wildcard, developer of Ark: Survival Evolved for PC and Xox One, and Dungeon Defender creator Trendy Entertainment came to a close this week. Kotaku reports the two parties reached a $40 million settlement on Wednesday.

According to Wildcard co-founder Susan Stieglitz, reaching a settlement was not easy: Stieglitz claimed Trendy tried to sue for as much as $600 million before a written settlement was produced. "We ended up settling for 40," she said in a Twitter direct message that got posted to Reddit.

The suit dates back to December of last year, when Trendy—best known for Dungeon Defenders—sued Studio Wildcard company and its lead designer, Susan's husband Jeremy Stieglitz, for breach of contract and improper behavior. Jeremy Stieglitz had worked at Trendy as lead designer before leaving in the summer of 2014 to co-found Wildcard with his wife.

That's where impropriety occurred, according to Trendy. Details of the suit reveal that Trendy accused Stieglitz of poaching talent to staff up at Wildcard, a violation of the noncompete clause he signed upon departing. Trendy also contends that Stieglitz worked on Ark in secret during his time at the studio, before leaving to launch his own company.

Wildcard fired back, labeling Trendy's accusations as (per GameSpot) "irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous."

It's unclear what the verdict means for the continued development of Ark. GameSpot reports that Ark has sold millions of copies and ranks in the most popular games on Steam. Recently, Studio Wildcard rolled out a free-to-play version.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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