Indie game ‘Ant Simulator’ as been pulled as programmer releases video blaming partners for running off with crowd-funding cash and partying.
It’s not the first time an indie game has died in development due to funding games and it likely won’t be the last, but the tale of Ant Simulator is a heart-breaking one.
Building on much-loved and ancient ancestor SimAnt, Ant Simulator was aiming to bring the much loved real-time strategy/colony simulation game into the 21st century in full 3D. After a successful crowd-funding campaign to get the game off the crowd, it was starting to look really quite impressive with programmer Eric Tereshinksi posting regular updates to his YouTube channel.
The game development appears to have gone very positively with a beta version available and moves being made to try and obtain Steam Early Access. This is where the fairy tale ends.
Eric decided to take his baby (larvae, whatever) and form a partnership with two lifelong friends, Tyler Monce and Devon Staley. together, they formed ETeeski LLC.
It would seem that Tyler and Devon didn’t really share Eric’s passion for developing Ant Simulator and releasing the best possible game. In fact, according to Eric, they have no interest whatsoever in doing this. The duo managed to burn through all of the carefully saved development savings, including crowdfunded cash on ‘restaurants, booze and strippers.
The worst bit? When Eric confronted his business partners about the cash they’d nicked, he was told in no uncertain terms if he tried to release the game without them, they’d sue him.
As as as Eric found out the money was gone, he resigned his position from the company and published this video to his YouTube account:
“Hello everyone, so this is going to be the worst video I’ve ever had to make. But as you can see from the title, Ant Simulator is going to be cancelled. I can’t work on Ant Simulator, anymore. I recently found out that my ex-business partners were secretly stealing company money. They have secretly spent the overwhelming majority of our Kickstarter money and the Ant Simulator money on liquor, bars, even strippers.
This among many other reasons, is the reason why it’s become exceedingly clear to me that I can’t have my career associated with this guys. My ex-business partners directly partners directly said to me, if you release Ant Simulator without us, I will sue you. I really don’t have any options. A year and half ago, I signed an LLC agreement with then. I trusted them. And they had been my friends for 11 years. I made the mistake of trusting them. So, that means that resigning and therefore cancelling the development of Ant Simulator, as I was the programmer of Ant Simulator. Resigning and cancelling Ant Simulator is really the only option available to me, right now.
So this is obviously a huge and disappointing setback, but I am going to continue forward and continue to develop games. I am going to keep my YouTube channel, because I created this YouTube channel years before we signed that LLC agreement and I never signed anything that said I was giving over the rights of my YouTube channel from ETeeski. So I am going to be rebranding my YouTube channel and I’m going to continue making videos about game development on this channel. I am legally obligated to remove from my YouTube channel and all of my content, anything that was created during the time I was part of ETeeski. That includes Ant Simulator, Go Home Your Drunk and the Ultimate Game Developer Tutorial Series.
So, this is a setback, but it’s not the end. I’m very pissed off that I lost money, 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 and you know, it was supposed to be my first big step, in, you know, really taking a shot at making video games as a career. But, you know, I have to start over now. But I am looking forward to what I am going to create in the future and any projects I’m going to be a part of and I’m definitely going to move forward more cautiously and not be so trusting of, even my closest friends, apparently.
So that does mean I am going to continue to keep making games. So, until next time everyone, see you later.”