Following allegations of sexual abuse from indie creator Zoë Quinn (aka @UnburntWitch on Twitter) and subsequent removal from indie game Night in the Woods, developer Alec Holowka took his own life on Saturday morning. His sister, fellow developer Eileen Mary Holowka, made a statement about his death on Twitter. Both siblings are credited on Night in the Woods.
Holowka was accused by Quinn of sexual abuse and confining her at his home in Winnipeg, Canada. “I was scared to leave. I was scared to tell anyone. He’d act normal when other people were around and lay into me a soon as we were alone,” Quinn wrote in a series of messages posted on Twitter. No police report was ever filed.
After the news of Holowka’s suicide, Ethan Ralph of TheRalphRetort laid into Quinn, mockingly calling her the real “victim” of the weekend:
Zoe Quinn, former nude model, failed game developer, successful scammer, and professional victim is back for a new hashtag movement. Not #GamerGate or #GamerGate2.0, but instead #ZoeBodyCount. She has decided to screw the optics, go in, subscribe to PewDiePie, and embrace infamy by publicly leveling unsubstantiated claims of sexual and emotional abuse against a real game developer, Alec Holowka of Night in the Woodsfame.
We heare at at TheRalphRetort.com are confident that these claims are in no way related to the fact that her Patreon earnings are down significantly, the rumors that she spent all $80,000 of her Kickstarter money a year ago while vacationing in Japan, and is allegedly broke. All of these financial difficulties are in spite of her landing jobs at IDW Publishing and Marvel Comics, where she is currently writing for Hellcat instead of the more apt Black Widow. Feeling that her new jobs and supplementary $1,000 a month in Patreon bucks would not be enough to keep her in the lifestyle she’s accustomed to, she demonstrated the skills of her profession by levying serious allegations that will permanently alter the life of another human being on Twitter dot com.
Read the whole thing.
This is what Mr. Holowka had to say about Zoe a few years ago. Too bad no one stood up for him when it counted.
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) September 1, 2019
Following the news, Jeremy Hamby of The Quartering had some somber words of warning to anyone thinking of getting into the game development field:
The remaining team behind Night in the Woods, creators Scott Benson and Bethany Hockenberry, have not spoken publicly since their announcement that they severed ties with Holowka on August 28. At time of writing, Quinn has also not made a statement and her Twitter account has been deactivated.
Our hearts go out to Holowka’s friends and family during this difficult time.