Ark: Survival Evolved has proven to be a smash hit since its initial release last Summer. The idea of a survival game with dinosaurs is a great one, after all – because everything is better with dinosaurs.
With that in mind, it’s a real shame that the question of exactly who should be credited with the creation of Survival Evolved has turned to legal action – legal action that could result in the game being removed from sale.
So in a nutshell, developer Studio Wildcard was sued by another developer (Trendy Entertainment) back in December 2015.
Trendy say that a former employee of theirs by the name of Jeremy Stieglitz breached his contract with the devs by working on Survival Evolved secret.
Here’s where stuff gets into super legal fun territory. Court documents acquired by Kotaku show that Trendy’s legal team argues Stieglitz didn’t stick to his contractual obligation not to compete with the studio after leaving.
Trendy also claims that Stieglitz attempted to contact employees at Trendy after he left in Summer 2015, in an attempt to get them to join him at what would become Studio Wildcard.
Finally, Trendy believe that Stieglitz took tech and important trade secrets established at Trendy, and used them to help launch Ark: Survival Evolved. To sum up, Trendy reckon that Stieglitz’s actions have had a massive negative impact on Trendy’s business.
Wildcard maintain that Stieglitz didn’t play that big a role in the development of Survival Evolved, but that’s not stopping Trendy from seeking “injunctive relief and damages”.
If case isn’t settled, it goes to court on April 27. If Trendy are granted their injunction till the case is sorted, it could mean Studio Wildcard would have to completely halt work on the game, and remove it from sale across PC and Xbox One.
Co-founder Jesse Rapczak told Kotaku that Stieglitz “consulted” on Survival Evolved, but was unclear on what exactly that meant. Wildcard suggest the claims are “irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous” – I guess they’ll be fighting it, then.
Come on guys, can’t we all just get along? You know, dinosaurs never used to sue each other. Probably.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.