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Infinite Fall, the independent game studio known for 2017’s Night in the Woods, has cut ties with co-founder Alec Holowka following allegations of sexual assault made against the game designer by fellow game developer Zoe Quinn.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Quinn alleged that she visited Holowka in Winnipeg, Canada, for two weeks several years ago. “While I was in Winnipeg he slowly isolated me from everyone else in my life while absolutely degrading me whenever we were alone,” Quinn claimed.
Quinn also claimed that Holowka would “jam his fingers inside me and walk me around the house by them when I told him it hurt.”
In response to the allegations, Infinite Fall on Wednesday issued a statement through Night in the Woods‘ official Twitter account, saying, “This week, allegations of past abuse have come to light regarding Alec Holowka, who was coder, composer, and co-designer on Night In The Woods. We take such allegations seriously as a team. As a result and after some agonizing consideration, we are cutting ties with Alec.”
The company also announced it would be canceling a planned physical release for the game. Night in the Woods co-writers Scott Benson and Bethany Hockenberry will handle the brand moving forward.
On Saturday morning, Holowka’s sister Eileen tweeted news of Alec’s sudden death. “Alec Holowka, my brother and best friend, passed away this morning,” she wrote. “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 illness, 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 also not 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.”
Eileen noted that her brother was supported by many Manitoba crisis services in the days before his death, and thanked everyone who was there for him. “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 felt he had lost too much.”
She noted in her message that, while she will not be reading the responses on social media, she appreciates those who have reached out. “For anyone who is in a time of darkness, I encourage you to reach out for support,” Eileen went on to say. “There are always people who will be there for you.”
Requests for comment from the Night in the Woods team were not immediately returned.
Alec Holowka, my brother and best friend, passed away this morning. pic.twitter.com/NONUNSZ08q
— Eileen Mary Holowka (@derangedpoetess) August 31, 2019
Aug. 31, 1:25 p.m.: Updated with news of Alec Holowka’s death.
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