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 Night in the Woods  devs cut ties with Alec Holowka after abuse allegations

Night in the Woods devs cut ties with Alec Holowka after abuse allegations

August 28, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

August 28, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Indie

Scott Benson, one of the three developers behind Night in the Woods, says that the team has cut ties with co-creator Alec Holowka following yesterday’s allegations of abuse and sexual assault.

“We take such allegations seriously as a team. As a result and after some agonizing consideration, we are cutting ties with Alec,” Benson tweeted via the Night in the Woods twitter account.

The game, released in early 2017, was created by Benson, Holowka, and Bethany Hockenberry and was due for a physical release later this year. That release has now been postponed as a result, and the unannounced project the trio had been working on has been canceled. ​

The decision follows public allegations made by game developer Zoe Quinn against Holowka that accused him of physical and emotional abuse during their relationship. That accusation came in response to a post from another game developer that accused composer Jeremy Soule of sexual assault, and has since been followed by several other accusations against accused abusers in the game industry.

Update: Night in the Woods publisher Finji has supported the dev team's decision to break away from Holowka and shelve the planned physical release in light of the recent allegations made against the game's co-creator.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Finji chief exec Rebekah Saltsman said the company takes allegations of abuse "very seriously," and explained it has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to abuse and harassment.

"The allegations of past abuse against Alec Holowka are something I take very seriously. As a survivor of abuse, I offer my support to all who are able to speak out about their experiences," reads the statement.

"The Night in the Woods team made some very hard decisions today, and Adam and I stand by all of them. We have a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and harassment at Finji, which applies to both our internal teams and our external publishing projects. 

"While policies like these are vital health and safety measures, they do not create long term change on their own. We encourage everyone who needs it to seek help, treatment, and rehabilitation. We have seen it work first-hand."

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