Ark Dev Settles Lawsuit for Reported $40 Million
It is unclear at this time how the settlement will affect the future of Ark, if it does at all.
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Studio Wildcard, the developer behind popular PC and console dinosaur game Ark: Survival Evolved, this week reached a settlement agreement with Dungeon Defenders developer Trendy Entertainment. The company accused Studio Wildcard and one of its staffers of improper behavior and more as part of a nasty case that dates back many months.
As is often the case with these matters, terms of the settlement were not publicly disclosed. However, Studio Wildcard co-founder Susan Stieglitz said on Twitter that Trendy was hoping to get more than a half-billion. "lol they want 600 million," she wrote. Studio Wildcard ended up paying "40," she wrote in a DM to a fan who then shared it on Reddit and Imgur.
Kotaku reports that the settlement was decided upon this Wednesday, April 13, after mediation took place between Studio Wildcard and Trendy in Gainesville, Florida, where Trendy is headquartered. On that date, Stieglitz wrote on Twitter, "Long day again at the lawyers."
Ark has been a surprise hit since its launch last summer, and it recently expanded with the release of a free-to-play version called Survival of the Fittest. The game has sold millions of copies and is one of the top ten most-played games on Steam right now. This is all to say the game is likely a money-maker, but how things will change in the future after Studio Wildcard pays the settlement fee remains to be seen.
We have followed up with Studio Wildcard to ask that very question and will update this post with anything we hear back.
Studio Wildcard was sued by Trendy Entertainment in December 2015. Trendy claims one of its former employees, designer Jeremy Stieglitz--Claire's husband, who has since resigned--breached his contract with Trendy and has been working in secret on Survival Evolved. Jeremy Stieglitz also reportedly repeatedly attempted to poach Trendy employees to help start Studio Wildcard.
In March, Studio Wildcard said Trendy's claims were "irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous," going on to say the company's complaint "reads more like a salacious tabloid story than a short and plain statement of the ultimate facts."
The case was scheduled to go to court on April 27 before this settlement deal was reached. Had Trendy been successful in its request for an injunction, it could have meant that Studio Wildcard needed to stop work on Survival Evolved and possibly remove the game from sale across PC and Xbox One.
You can get all the details on the case in GameSpot's previous coverage. We will continue to cover this case and bring you more news as it becomes available.
The full, finished version of Ark: Survival Evolved is due out later this year for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
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