Truly proving the old idiom that there are always two sides to every story, the two Ant Simulator developers accused of misusing company funds on “liquor and strippers” have, perhaps unsurprisingly, stepped forward to defend themselves by responding to their former business partner’s allegations.
Eric Tereshinski, lead developer of the crowdfunded indie game company ETeeski LLC, took to YouTube a few days ago, announcing the highly anticipated Ant Simulator game was cancelled and that he was leaving the company he had started with two long-time friends, saying they had “spent the overwhelming majority of both our Kickstarter money and the Ant Simulator investment money on liquor, restaurants, bars and even strippers,” as reported in a previous Inquisitr article.
Now, in an interview with Game Informer, Tereshinski’s former ETeeski LLC business partners, Tyler Monce and Devon Staley, are firing back with their side of the story, as well as some allegations of their own.
“It’s completely false,” Monce says.
“I don’t know why he’s painting that picture, but the reality is that anything that was spent in a bar or restaurant was very reasonable in nature when you look at any business, including video game companies. It was part of our operating budget, it’s not anything that was excessive. It was all reported to the IRS. The picture he’s painting about that is 100 percent bull****.”
According to the interview, during the 20 months that the former trio of friends worked on the company, Monce and Staley say they invested a combined $5,000, a larger amount than what Tereshinski invested. Monce, who served as chief financial officer, also says the books were always open to Tereshinski and that there was no opportunity for any financial embezzlement or misuse. To hear Monce and Staley tell it, Tereshinski decided to leave the company in November, 2015, and unilaterally decided to close ETeeski’s business accounts.
In contrast to Tereshinski’s accusations of gross misuse and wasteful spending, Devon Staley alleges that Tereshinski seized control and transferred ETeeski LLC budget money, from which their numerous (nine or ten) independent contractors were paid, to his personal account.
“He took control of everything,” Monce said.
“He took control of not only all the company’s physical property, our bank accounts, our social media accounts, our website (which he changed to just our faces for some unknown reason), that was all him. This all started to take place right after the game started to get really popular late in the summer. My personal theory is that he wanted to take it all for himself and cut us out of it. We made it clear that we weren’t going to let him do that, because we had a moral and legal right not to.”
According to PC Gamer, Monce and Staley may pursue legal action against Tereshinski on this case. Eric Tereshinski recently gave an interview with Polygon, in which he stressed that his departure from the company was “not a problem of being out of money” and accusing Monce and Staley of lying to him about obtaining a PlayStation 4 software development kit from Sony. PC Gamer reported that the duo also deny these charges.
“Accusations over the company’s attempts to obtain a PlayStation devkit are similarly muddy. Tereshinski claims that Monce failed to submit Ant Simulator to Sony, instead inventing that Sony wanted additional polish on the game to speed Tereshinski’s work. Monce, on the other hand, says Tereshinski failed to supply a playable demo at all.”
Whatever the truth of the matter may be, Monce and Staley have no development experience, so it is still curtains for Ant Simulator for now. We will await a response from Tereshinski regarding these statements and will update the story again should he choose to respond.
[Photo by Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images]