Night in the Woods developer Alec Holowka died Saturday morning, his sister, Eileen Holowka, said on Twitter. Last week, Holowka was one of three prominent men in games accused of various forms of sexual assault and abuse.
“Alec Holowka, my brother and best friend, passed away this morning,” Eileen Holowka tweeted before later locking her account. “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.”
The initial allegations against Holowka came to light after designer Zoe Quinn released a statement saying Holowka kept Quinn captive in his home for periods of time, was “mean and violent” during sex, and engaged in repeated verbal abuse.
Holowka never publicly responded to the accusations, but his fellow Night in the Woods co-developers quickly cut ties, and said they believed Quinn. In the days that followed, others, including people who worked with him, came forward to corroborate Quinn’s claims.
Earlier Tuesday, Night in the Woods co-creator Scott Benson, who worked alongside Holowka for years, published a lengthy essay about their toxic and often volatile relationship.
“There’s a hole in my life where he was until not very long ago,” said Benson. “My relationship with Alec was complicated. He was, depending on when you asked, my friend, my collaborator, a nightmare, the origin of my PTSD, and the reason I was in therapy. Sometimes all of those at the same time. There are several people who could say the exact same thing about him. Too many, I’m finding out.”
Before disappearing from Twitter, Holowka’s sister noted Holowka “*specifically said* he wished the best for Zoe and everyone else.
“So don’t use our grief as an excuse to harass people,” they wrote. “Go outside, take care of someone, and work towards preventing these kinds of things in the first place.”
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