A crowdfunded Ant Simulator game has been cancelled under most unusual circumstances. Two of the developers allegedly blew the project’s budget on restaurants, bars, liquor, and strippers. Yeah, you read that right.
Not long ago, Ant Simulator was a promising indie game that was met with much enthusiasm and covered favorably by prominent gaming websites such as PC Gamer. Based on the unique concept of playing as an ant and managing a colony, the game was hailed as an enjoyable and original spin on the wilderness survival genre, and the company was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014. But now it’s doubtful the game will ever see the light of day.
Lead programmer Eric Tereshinski made the announcement via a rather heartbreaking video posted to YouTube, which you can watch below. He explained that the game is cancelled and that he is leaving the project after discovering his two partners, both of them long-term friends, had grossly misused company funds.
“The overwhelming majority of our Kickstarter money and the Ant Simulator investment money on liquor, restaurants, bars, and even strippers,” he says.
Tereshinski was the lead designer for ETeeski LLC, the company he formed with his two partners, Tyler Monce and Devon Staley, but now says everything is so wrapped up in legal paperwork that he has no choice but to leave the company and cancel Ant Simulator.
“A year and a half ago, I signed an LLC agreement with them,” Tereshinski continues. “I trusted them and they had been my friends for 11 years. That means that resigning, and therefore cancelling the development of Ant Simulator, is really the only option available to me right now.”
Tereshinski says he will be doing whatever he can to offer refunds to people who preordered the game, and stresses that his personal investment money was also spent by his (former) friends and business partners.
Disturbingly, he says that his former associates have threatened to sue him if he releases Ant Simulator without them, and legal action against them is impossible due to the nature of the contract they all signed, according to a statement published in WCCFtech.
“They went over the contract line by line with me and I reviewed the whole thing twice… I just didn’t realize they had protected themselves, screwed me (like the fact that they listed themselves as consultants, so they aren’t legally obligated to work on anything, but still have the rights to spend money etc.), and I had no idea what their plan was until it was too late.
“I could try to sue them, yes. The problem is that the most likely outcome is that things will end up more or less the same as they are now. The only difference is that I would have wasted a lot of time and money on court and lawyer fees. Cutting ties with them is just faster, simpler, and safer. Besides, I’m really damn good at making games. I will make other games. They won’t.”
Seemingly to rub salt in the wound, Tereshinski claims that he is legally obligated to take down any videos that were made during his stay with the developer, ETeeski LLC, which includes all his Ant Simulator alpha videos and a popular series of game development tutorials that were also funded by Kickstarter.
Tereshinski says he still plans to continue to develop games and keep an active YouTube channel, and doesn’t wish for his career to be defined by this incident.
[Image via Nattawut Sottivilaipong/Shutterstock]