You know what’s cool? Ants. Ants are cool. So are video games! You know what’s less cool? Spending all the money meant for development of your ant-based video game on endeavors of a more… carnal nature.
Video games are a weird business. You can look at Kojima vs Konami saga for recent evidence of that, along with literally a bajillion other examples that I don’t have room to list here. But every once in awhile, there’s a story so utterly absurd that it strains belief to the breaking point. The headline of this article, “Ant Simulator cancelled after business partners spend crowdfunding money on booze and strippers,” was, I promise, written by a real human being and not an SEO robot, and does, in fact, represent a real thing that actually happened.
Over the weekend, lead developer Eric Tereshinski posted a video to his Youtube channel explaining the breakdown of his business and the cancellation of his game. In the video, he says “I recently found out that 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.”
Eric is working to make sure that Ant Simulator preorders get refunded. While Ant Simulator itself will be cancelled and the ETeeskiTutorials series on game development will be removed from Youtube due to legal issues, he intends to stick with game development, though he says he’ll “not be so trusting of even my closest friends, apparently,” which is the closest I’ve felt to a literal knife in the heart while watching a Youtube video.
Games, and in particular crowdfunded games, have failed over and over as result of poor business decisions, but something as monumentally ridiculous as this hasn’t been in the news in a couple of decades, it feels like. I wish Eric the best both in his future game development pursuits, and in making better friends.