- Related Games:
- Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods developer Alec Holowka has been accused of abuse by Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn, with her stating that she was “scared to leave” her relationship with him before he allegedly blacklisted her from games industry events.
In a lengthy statement posted to Twitter, indie developer Zoe Quinn alleged that the Night in the Woods co-creator had “isolated” her from those around her, behaved “mean and violent” towards her, and wouldn’t let her leave his apartment without him.
In one of the more extreme allegations, Quinn claimed: “He’d jam his fingers inside me and walk me around the house by them when I told him it hurt.”
According to Quinn, the pair began their relationship after she agreed to fly out to Winnipeg to see him, with Holowka agreeing to pay for her flight home as she couldn’t afford the trip otherwise. Quinn claims that the original plan was for her to join a shared house with other indie developers in the region, before returning home. However, Holowka allegedly refused to pay for her flight home, leading to her roommate using his air miles to allow her to return home.
Quinn claims that the relationship began after she was sexually assaulted by another unnamed games industry figurehead, with Holowka blaming her for the assault. “He said he was jealous of me, to be wanted like that. He’d bring it up during sex, where he’d regularly be mean and violent,” she wrote.
“While I was in Winnipeg he slowly isolated me from everyone else in my life while degrading me whenever we were alone,” Quinn continued. “He convinced me to talk the 3 friends out of getting a shared place with me there. He convinced me to let him program my game instead of the friend I had been working with, despite many protests. He screamed at me for over an hour once because of the tone in my voice when I said hello. He wouldn’t let me leave the apartment without him and refused to give me the code to get in.”
The full statement can be read below:
— zoë “the filth element” quinn (@UnburntWitch) August 27, 2019
Quinn noted that she decided to speak up against Holowka after developer Nathalie Lawhead’s rape allegation against game composer Jeremy Soule, known for his work on The Elder Scrolls and Guild Wars series. “I don’t wish any ill will on anyone,” Quinn wrote. “I know Alec is likely not well and I always believe in rehabilitation over punishment.”
Along with co-creating Night in the Woods, Holowka has also worked on games such as Towerfall and Aquaria. He is also the co-founder of independent game companies Bit Blot, Infinite Ammo, and Infinite Fall. We have reached out to Holowka via Infinite Ammo and will update this story if we receive a response.