Eteeski founder Eric Tereshinski has cancelled Ant Simulator after accusing his business partners of spending crowdfunding money on alcohol and strippers.
Update: Eric Tereshinski's business partners, Tyler Monce and Devon Staley, have stated that the allegations are completely false. In fact, they claim Tereshinski had taken complete control of business accounts and transferred company funds to his personal bank account.
"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****."
Monce and Staley's theory is that when Ant Simulator started growing in popularity, Tereshinski wanted to take the profits for himself, which they opposed. At this point, Tereshinski allegedly took control of bank, social media, and website accounts, which removed any opportunity for embezzlement. After making his recent accusations and leaving the company, Tereshinski edited the Eteeski home page to consist solely of biographies of Monce and Staley.
"The important thing to realize is that the ETeeski team wasn't just us three," Staley said. "We had a lot of contractors. Nine or ten people who worked on this game. Models, rigging, our environmental art, and our human art, were all done through contractors ... He's making this claim that we spent all this money on expensive entertainment, and that's completely false. We paid all these people who worked for us."
Source: Game Informer
Original Story: Video game projects are cancelled all the time, and even crowdfunding support can't guarantee success. But game development rarely closes as dramatically as Ant Simulator did last weekend. In a new video, lead developer Eric Tereshinski claims the project is ending after his Eteeski business partners spent campaign money at bars and strip clubs.
"This is going to be the worst video I've ever had to make," Tereshinski said. "I can't work on Ant Simulator anymore. I recently found out my ex-business partners were secretly stealing company money. They had secretly spent the overwhelming majority of both our Kickstarter money and the Ant Simulator investment money on liquor, restaurants, bars, and even strippers. This is the reason it has become exceedingly clear to me that I cannot have my career associated with these guys."
Ant Simulator's goal was to let players build and fortify ant colonies by taking direct control of worker and soldier ants in a giant natural setting. Funding seems to have been provided by a Kickstarter campaign for Ultimate gamedev tutorials, independent Ant Simulator crowdfunding, and limited early access preorders.
"I'm very pissed off I lost money," Tereshinski continues. "I lost over a year in work. And I lost a game that I loved, and I was proud of, and I was really looking forward to releasing on Steam and PS4. It was supposed to be my first big step in really taking a shot at making video games as a career. But I have to start over now."
Tereshinski adds that he cannot continue Ant Simulator's development independently, since his work was contracted under Eteeski. Which is a shame - Ant Simulator's screenshots and videos looked gorgeous, and the concept could have made for a highly unique game. Tereshinski is currently looking into ways to provide Ant Simulator refunds to early adopters.