Night in the Woods developer Alec Holowka has been accused of sexual assault.
Writing on Twitter, games designer and comic book writer Zoe Quinn alleged Holowka had sexually assaulted her “the better part of a decade” ago, while early in her career.
The alleged assault took place at Holowka’s residence in Winnipeg, Canada, where Quinn had been invited to live and work with other indie developers under the same roof. But when there, Quinn said, Holowka asked her to discourage other developers from staying.
“He wouldn’t let me leave the apartment without him and refused to give me the code to get in,” she wrote. “I was scared to leave.”
The pair began a relationship in which Holowka was “regularly… mean and violent”, Quinn said, writing that she felt “isolated”.
“About the sexual assault, he blamed me,” Quinn wrote. “He said he was jealous of me, to be wanted like that […] And I bought it, because that’s how you feel when you’re recovering from being sexually assaulted.”
— zo ?bi fieri? quinn (@UnburntWitch) August 27, 2019
Holowka is yet to comment on the allegation.
Eurogamer has contacted both Holowka and Quinn for this story, but is yet to hear back.
Night in the Woods co-creator Scott Benson took to Twitter today to say he was “stunned”.
“We’re very sad and very angry,” Benson said. “This is all hitting us in the middle of the night, we’ll have more to say about it tomorrow.” A follow-up message overnight last night stated a public response was coming, but would take a little longer: “It might take a day or so for a more complete response b/c some things need to be worked out, but steps are being taken. We’ll be public about it as soon as we can. Thanks.”
In her Twitter thread, Quinn said she chose to share her story last night despite being “scared shitless to out an industry legend” after seeing another woman come forward to share her experience of alleged sexual assault while working in the games industry. In a blog post shared online, Tetrageddon developer Nathalie Lawhead alleged she had been raped by video game composer Jeremy Soule, best known for his work on the Elder Scrolls and Guild Wars series. Our report on that is here.
If you think you’ve been affected by rape or sexual abuse, information and support are available. Survivors Trust provides support and signposting for survivors of rape, sexual violence or childhood sexual abuse. Victim Support provides emotional and practical help to victims or witnesses or any crime.