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Following allegations of sexual abuse from indie creator Zoë Quinn and subsequent removal from indie game Night in the Woods, developer Alec Holowka died 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. The following statements were printed at IGN prior to Eileen Mary Holowka making her Twitter account private and stating she’d be taking a leave of absence from the internet for the immediate future.
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.
Eileen, a PhD student and active feminist, also included the following: “And in case it’s not already f****** obvious, Alec specifically said he wished the best for Zoë and everyone else, so don’t use our grief as an excuse to harass people. Go outside, take care of someone, and work towards preventing these kinds of things in the first place”
Prior to his death, Holowka and Eileen were developing a game together called Project Potato. 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 not made a statement and their Twitter account has been deactivated.
If you are considering suicide or fear you may become suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you are worried about someone you love, visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org. If you live outside the U.S., you can find a list of international suicide prevention hotlines here.