Studio Wildcard

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Wildcard Properties, LLC
Studio Wildcard
IndustryVideo games
FoundedOctober 2014; 6 years ago (2014-10) in Bellevue, Washington, US
  • Doug Kennedy
  • Jesse Rapczak
  • Jeremy Stieglitz
  • Susan Stieglitz
Key people
Doug Kennedy (CEO)
Number of employees
60 (2016)

Wildcard Properties, LLC (doing business as Studio Wildcard) is an American video game developer with offices in Kirkland, Washington, and Gainesville, Florida.[1] The company was founded in October 2014 by Doug Kennedy, Jesse Rapczak, Jeremy Stieglitz and Susan Stieglitz, and is best known for its debut game, Ark: Survival Evolved, which was released in August 2017.



Studio Wildcard (formally named Wildcard Properties, LLC) was founded in October 2014.[2] Its founders are Doug Kennedy, Jesse Rapczak, Jeremy Stieglitz and Stieglitz' wife, Susan, of whom Kennedy serves as chief executive officer for the company.[3][4][5] While falling under the jurisdiction of Florida, the company's primary offices were set up in Washington.[2] In December 2015, Snail Ark, Inc., a California corporation and subsidiary of SDE, Inc., was merged into Studio Wildcard.[2][6] Three managers of Snail Ark subsequently became managers of Studio Wildcard.[2] In February 2016, the company had 60 people employed at its studio in Bellevue, Washington.[7]

Legal dispute[edit]

In December 2015, Trendy Entertainment, the former employer of Jeremy Stieglitz, filed a lawsuit against Studio Wildcard and Stieglitz, alleging that Stieglitz had violated a non-compete agreement between him and Trendy when he, following his resignation from Trendy, secretly formed Studio Wildcard and started working on Ark while hiring developers from Trendy for his endeavor.[3][2] Trendy sought US$600 million in damages, and the two parties settled on April 13, 2016, for $40 million.[8]


At The Game Awards 2018, Studio Wildcard announced Atlas, a massively multiplayer online game featuring pirates.[9] According to them, the game was 1,200 times larger than Ark and could host 40,000 players in the same game world.[9][10] To develop Atlas, Studio Wildcard had set up a sister studio, Grapeshot Games, and run a one-year-long recruitment phase to ensure that development on it was not coming at the expense of Ark.[11]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Genre(s) Platform(s)
2017 Ark: Survival Evolved Action-adventure, survival Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Ark: Survival of the Fittest Battle royale Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows


  1. ^ "Jobs". Studio Wildcard.
  2. ^ a b c d e Clark, Anthony (March 30, 2016). "Video game developers waging real-life legal battle". The Gainesville Sun.
  3. ^ a b Schreier, Jason (March 23, 2016). "Game Studios Enter Legal Battle Over The Making Of Ark: Survival Evolved". Kotaku.
  4. ^ Brightman, James (November 14, 2017). "Ark dev: "Retail was not something we had planned to do"".
  5. ^ Handrahan, Matthew (March 21, 2018). "Epic: The barrier between Xbox and PlayStation "will inevitably come down"".
  6. ^ "Articles of Merger for Florida Limited Liability Company, L14000161311". SunBiz.
  7. ^ Makuch, Eddie (February 2, 2016). "Ark: Survival Evolved Dev Talks Frame Rate Issues, PS4 Version, Comparisons to Minecraft". GameSpot.
  8. ^ Schreier, Jason (April 15, 2016). "Ark: Survival Evolved Developers Settle Ugly Lawsuit". Kotaku.
  9. ^ a b Kuchera, Ben (December 6, 2018). "Ark Survival Evolved creators' new game is a massive pirate MMO called Atlas". Polygon.
  10. ^ Minotti, Mike (December 6, 2018). "Atlas is a new game of sailing and monsters from Ark: Survival Evolved studio". VentureBeat.
  11. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (December 17, 2018). "Why go for a surprise launch?".

External links[edit]