Infinite Fall, the developer behind the indie title Night in the Woods, announced yesterday on Twitter that it has cut ties with Alec Holowka amid the recent and numerous sexual assault allegations brought against him.
It all started with artist and game designer Nathalie Lawhead coming forward and accusing game composer Jeremy Soule of rape. It’s an incredibly sad story about a big name in gaming taking advantage of a newcomer into industry, which led to a hostile work environment that eventually fired her. In her post, Lawhead shared various emails to back up her claims.
That same day Lawhead’s post went live, Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn shared a story of her own in regards to Alec Holowka. She said that reading Lawhead’s post “shook her to her core.”
“So many of the little details,” Quinn wrote, “down to the timing, had been things I’ve gone through too, just a few months into my time as an indie game developer. And it’s haunted me every since. It’s why I don’t go to GDC anymore.” She also said she felt like a coward in the face of Lawhead’s courage, which made her realize she needed to take a step forward.
Not long after Quinn tweeted her story, other people came forward to admit Holowka had done similar things to them. The next day, Night in the Woods co-creator Scott Benson stepped up to support Zoe, tweeting, “We believe Zoe’s account of Alec’s actions, we’re very sad and very angry.”
And then, the following day, the Night in the Woods Twitter account posted the following:
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.
— Night In The Woods (@NightInTheWoods) August 28, 2019
What’s perhaps the most tragic about these stories is that they happened awhile back, and it’s only now these women feel the courage to come forward and make these horrors known. Perhaps this is a start of the gaming industry’s own #MeToo movement. Better late than never.