Stieglitz and Trendy have a controversial history, much of Buy ARK Items which is documented in the lawsuit.Three years ago, Trendy employees reached out to Kotaku to complain about working conditions at their studio. They said they were forced to work excessive overtime, to the tune of seven days a week, and they claimed they were too scared to complain. They were worried about retribution from their creative director, Stieglitz. In June 2013, we published an article about these claims.


Within the next day, Trendy took action. They moved Stieglitz off the team he’d been leading, and by the end of the year they’d created a new imprint of the company for him called NomNom Games, to helm development on the online shooter Monster Madness. According to an employment letter dated September 23, 2013, Stieglitz’s new role would both maintain his current title of Chief Technology Officer at Trendy and grant him the new position of president at NomNom Games. The reshuffling didn’t last long. On April 4, 2014, Stieglitz sent an e-mail to the upper management at both Trendy and their main investor, Insight Venture Partners, with the subject “Might need to leave.”