Alec Holowka, who was one of the three main developers of the indie hit Night in the Woods, has passed away. The death was announced on his sister’s Twitter account.
The news comes mere days after Holowka was accused of rape by fellow developer Zoe Quinn. In a now-deleted Twitter post, Quinn claimed that Holowka sexually and verbally abused her while they were staying together at Holowka’s home in Winnipeg. The accusations led to Holowka being removed from Night in the Woods studio Infinite Ammo, a delay of the physical version of the game, and the cancellation of a project he was involved with. The situation can be found summarized here.
Quinn, who first rose to prominence during the infamous Gamergate controversy, has since deleted her Twitter account along with her original accusations. Her claims against Holowka have not been verified.
Eileen Mary Holowka shared the following statement regarding her brother’s decease.
Alec Holowka, my brother and best friend, passed away this morning.
Those who know me will know that I believe survivors and I have always done everything I can to support survivors, those suffering from mental illnesses, and those with chronic illnesses. Alec was a victim of abuse and he also spent a lifetime battling mood and personality disorders. I will not pretend that he was not also responsible for causing harm, but deep down he was a person who wanted only to offer people care and kindness. It took him a while to figure out how.
Over the last few years, with therapy and medication, Alec became a new person – the same person he had always been but without any of the darkness. He was calm and happy, positive and loving. Obviously, change is a slow process and it wasn’t perfect but he was working towards rehabilitation and a better life.
In the last few days, he was supported by many Manitoba crisis services, and I want to thank everyone there for their support. I want to thank Adam Saltsman for staying up late talking with us and reminding Alec that there was a future.
My family has and always will be the most important thing to me. Please give us time to heal. We tried our best to support Alec, but in the end he had felt he had lost too much.
The accusations come during a turbulent week for the games industry. This week also included the news that Jeremy Soule, the legendary composer of games like Skyrim and Guild Wars, was likewise accused of rape.