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Non-compete lawsuit against Ark: Survival Evolved maker is reportedly settled

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Trendy Entertainment alleged a former employee was secretly Ark's top designer

Studio Wildcard, the developer of Ark: Survival Evolved has reached a settlement with Trendy Entertainment in a breach-of-contract lawsuit, Kotaku reports.

Trendy had sued Wildcard in December alleging that Wildcard's Jeremy Stieglitz had broken the non-compete clause of his contract with Trendy by working closely on Ark: Survival Evolved during the period in which he'd agreed not to work for any other game developer.

Stieglitz had been a creative director for Trendy before leaving in 2014 under a cloud of allegations that he was responsible for a toxic work environment while managing Dungeon Defenders, Trendy's most popular title, and development of its sequel, which launched in September 2015.

Ark: Survival Evolved has become a very popular adventure/survival game since it launched on Steam and Xbox Live's early access programs last year. Kotaku reported in March that Stieglitz was in fact Ark's lead designer, violating his contract with Trendy. Trendy also claimed that Wildcard lured away former Trendy employees to work at the new studio.

Susan Stieglitz, Jeremy Stieglitz's wife and Wildcard's co-founder, tweeted on Tuesday that Trendy "[wanted $]600 million" in their lawsuit. On Friday, in a direct message to a fan who had asked about settlement terms, Susan Stieglitz said they had settled for "40" but was not more specific.

The only on-the-record notice of the settlement was filed in Gainesville, Fla., where Trendy is based and sought mediation. The notice said mediation on Wednesday ended with "a final written settlement agreement."

Polygon has reached out to representatives of both studios for comment.