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Oh dear, oh dear. The developers behind ARK: Survival Evolved (Studio Wildcard) are facing a lawsuit from the developers behind Dungeon Defenders (Trendy Entertainment).

The games are very different, but it's a people and contracts issue here. It sounds like someone has a vendetta against someone else.

It all revolves around a contract, and apparently Jeremy Stieglitz who used to work for Trendy Entertainment and apparently breached it by joining Studio Wildcard to work on ARK: Survival Evolved. Tredy Entertainment seems to require people who leave not to compete with the studio by making games for three years. Personally, I think these sorts of contracts do no good, and I am not a fan of them. I am surprised such a contract is even legal!

I am always fascinated by these sorts of lawsuits, as surely this is going to backfire on Trendy Entertainment and have a bad effect on their Dungeon Defenders games? They are already getting bad reviews for going after another developer, and their forum is filling up with angry posts. This won't end well.

To me, it sounds rather a lot like an issue of jealousy, as a developer moved onto a game that became wildly successful and they want a piece of the pie.

Thanks, Kotaku.

How do you feel about this? I know quite a lot of people really like ARK, so I hope this doesn't set development back. It could push ARK off Steam for a while, which would be a shame. Can you imagine the hell their forum and reviews would turn into ARK got forced off of Steam? Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial
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Pecisk 29 Mar, 2016
First of all, they can try sue employer, but it is employee who is breaking contract here, so I wonder how it would work even. NC clauses are very popular in high wage, competitive markets, especially around IT. They are not legal in some countries, and in some countries they are tolerated. Usually such contracts are on very sketchy grounds anyway.

Well, time wasted on lawyers are time not spent on game, and it can impact development. Although I think ARK will survive, considering it's popularity.
Keyrock 29 Mar, 2016
QuoteIt all revolves around a contract, and apparently Jeremy Stieglitz who used to work for Trendy Entertainment and apparently breached it by joining Studio Wildcard to work on ARK: Survival Evolved. Tredy Entertainment seems to require people who leave not to compete with the studio by making games for three years. Personally, I think these sorts of contracts do no good, and I am not a fan of them. I am surprised such a contract is even legal!
I agree a 3 year non-compete is excessive and ridiculous. That said, if he signed that non-compete and then went on to work on another game before the duration expired, then Jeremy is very clearly in the wrong here and I fully expect him to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Samsai 29 Mar, 2016
I remember hearing that Trendy Entertainment's employees' working conditions were terrible too, not exactly sure when or where though. Anyway, those kinds of contracts are in my opinion simply idiotic and I do hope that this lawsuit ends up costing them more in PR than they are going to gain from it.
tadzik 29 Mar, 2016
Well, if the dev signed the NCA and broke it, the fault is on him/her.

Those contracts aren't as unfair as they may seem; the ones that I signed always said that my employer may deny me the right to work for competition, but if they do that they are obliged to pay me ~50% of my salary for that entire period (I would honestly prefer to have 50% of my salary for free than have to work anywhere at all!). In every single case when I quit the company the NCA was thus cancelled because they didn't care enough to cover the costs.

I'm not sure if the NCA in question had such clause, but whether it had it or not, the dev in question is at fault and deserves the punishment in one way or another.
Liam Dawe 29 Mar, 2016
Quoting: Keyrock
QuoteIt all revolves around a contract, and apparently Jeremy Stieglitz who used to work for Trendy Entertainment and apparently breached it by joining Studio Wildcard to work on ARK: Survival Evolved. Tredy Entertainment seems to require people who leave not to compete with the studio by making games for three years. Personally, I think these sorts of contracts do no good, and I am not a fan of them. I am surprised such a contract is even legal!
I agree a 3 year non-compete is excessive and ridiculous. That said, if he signed that non-compete and then went on to work on another game before the duration expired, then Jeremy is very clearly in the wrong here and I fully expect him to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Apparently he got it moved down to one year, but I still don't agree with it at all even if he did breach it. Breach of stupid rules.
neowiz73 29 Mar, 2016
depending on the details of said contract Jeremy Stieglitz must have signed for this 3 year non-compete requirement. there could be loop holes or a fine that can probably ensue. but at the end of the day this is between them, I doubt it will affect ARK all that much, at least I hope not :)
Jeremy must have assumed this would happen eventually, so hopefully he's already lined up a defense to hopefully get this out of the way asap.
Keyrock 29 Mar, 2016
Quoting: liamdaweApparently he got it moved down to one year, but I still don't agree with it at all even if he did breach it. Breach of stupid rules.
Agreed. I think it's excessive even at 1 year. That doesn't change the fact that if you sign a contract you must honor it. If you break a contract there are consequences to be suffered.
Seegras 29 Mar, 2016
Quoting: KeyrockI agree a 3 year non-compete is excessive and ridiculous. That said, if he signed that non-compete and then went on to work on another game before the duration expired, then Jeremy is very clearly in the wrong here and I fully expect him to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

You're assuming such a contract is even legal. And go read the Kotaku article, the whole issue is much more convoluted.
tuubi 29 Mar, 2016
Quoting: KeyrockThat doesn't change the fact that if you sign a contract you must honor it. If you break a contract there are consequences to be suffered.
Well, that depends. Just like much of the nonsense in software EULAs, it's only binding as far as it agrees with local laws and regulations. If someone wants your firstborn in exchange for a service and you sign this contract with your blood, no court will hold you to your end of the bargain. At least in any country you'd want to live in. Ridiculous example but you get my point.
Maokei 29 Mar, 2016
Are these time exclusive contracts even really legal or is it just a way to intimidate some one with the prospect of a lawsuit. Most people probably would not want to end up with a lawsuit and associated costs that they could loose.
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