It’s not every day we get to write a headline like that, trust me. Ant Simulator, an indie game funded by Kickstarter, has been cancelled after two team members reportedly spent the entire budget on strippers and alcohol. Lead Programmer Eric Tereshinski, the only team member not involved with these actions, has since resigned from the company and says he’s been threatened with a lawsuit if he attempts to release the game.
The Kickstarter campaign raised approximately $4,459 on Kickstarter, which Tereskinski reports was later used by his partners Tyler Monce and Devon Staley to pay for alcohol, restaurants, and strippers. These expenses were made under the pretense of holding business meetings and other company-related activities so that they would be covered legally. Following Tereshinski’s resignation, Monce and Staley now have full control over the company. As a result, he is legally obligated to take any videos that were created as part of his work for the company down from his YouTube channel, including all
Ant Simulator videos and a popular, Kickstarter-funded series of game development tutorials.
“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.”
— Eric Tereshinski
Monce and Staley have spoken out about the allegations against them, claiming that they are
“completely false” (although he does imply that they did spend company money on restaurants and bars).
“It’s completely false. 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****.”
— Tyler Monce
Monce also claimed that Tereshinski was responsible for all company assets and had cost them a deal with PlayStation by not providing a gameplay demo in time.
“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.”
— Tyler Monce
The video above was released by Tereshinski to announce the game’s cancellation. We don’t know which side is right just yet, but we’ll be keeping an eye on this story in case more comes to light.