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- Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods developer Alec Holowka has died. His death was announced by his sister Eileen Mary Holowka on Twitter and comes in the wake of sexual assault allegations leveled at the Infinite Fall co-founder.
Alec passed away on Saturday morning, according to Eileen, and was “working towards rehabilitation and a better life” before his death. Alec had co-founded the studio behind Night in the Woods, along with collaborating on indie games I’m O.K – A Murder Simulator and Aquaria.
Earlier this week, Alec was accused of sexual assault by fellow game developer Zoe Quinn. In her claim, Quinn noted: “I know Alec is likely not well and I always believe in rehabilitation over punishment.” Infinite Fall cut ties with Alec as a result, while also canceling a project the studio had been working on.
Quinn’s allegations came during a week in which many began speaking out against sexual assault and harassment in the games industry, with many women sharing their experiences.
In a statement posted to her (now-private) Twitter account, Eileen wrote: “I believe survivors and I have always done everything I can to support survivors, those suffering from mental illnesses, and those with chronic illnesses.”
Eileen noted that Alec had been “a victim of he also spent a lifetime battling mood and personality disorders.” She added, “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.”
Her full statement can be read below:
“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.”
After this announcement of Alec’s death, Eileen followed up with a second tweet in which she addressed those attacking Quinn.
“And in case it’s not already f***ing obvious, Alec *specifically said* he wished the best for Zoe (Quinn) and everyone else, so don’t use our grief as an excuse to harass people,” Eileen tweeted. “Go outside, take care of someone, and work towards preventing these kinds of things in the first place.”