Alec Holowoka, the co-creator of Night In The Woods, died on Saturday morning, his sister Eileen Mary Holowka has reported. Alec Holowka was co-designer, coder and composer on Night In the Woods, and previously filled the same roles on Aquaria. Last Monday, he was accused of sexual assault and abusive behaviour several years ago by developer and writer Zoë Quinn. Alec's sister didn't state a cause of death, though the implication is clear.
"Alec was a victim of abuse and he also spent a lifetime battling mood and personality disorders," Eileen Mary Holowka said in a statement on her Twitter, which she has since set to private. "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."
Eileen said that he "became a new person" in recent years with the help of therapy and medication. "Obviously change is a slow process and it wasn't perfect, but he was working towards rehabilitation and a better life."
It appears that, sadly, Alec took his own life. Eileen said, "We tried our best to support Alec, but in the end he felt he had lost too much."
Fellow Night In The Woods co-creators Scott Benson and Bethany Hockenberry publicly cut ties with Alec Holowka following the allegations. They were not currently working together. A developer who had been working with Alec on a current project also made claims this week that he'd been abusive in the workplace, and the NITW folks said in a backers-only Kickstarter post (reproduced here) that they had heard more allegations from others they trusted and believed.
Many of the people connected to Alec have set their Twitter accounts private or deleted them. Eileen had strong words for people seeking to wield her brother's death as a weapon.
"And in case it's not already fucking 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."
Our thoughts are with everyone involved at this difficult time.
If you yourself are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please consider calling a crisis line.