A business failing due to the misallocation of funds is nothing uncommon. Sometimes money is spent where it shouldn’t be to disastrous results. That being said, perhaps nothing is quite like the story that led to Ant Simulator cancelled after the developer’s business partners spent the money on restaurants and strippers. This already sounds awful, but sadly it gets worse.
The developer is Eric Tereshinski and he was the main person and developer behind Ant Simulator, an upcoming game that would put users in the mind and body of an ant who explores the world to accomplish objectives and build the ultimate ant colony. The game was up on Steam Greenlight, had gone through crowd funding (a Kickstarter raised almost $4,500), and was slowly progressing.
In the process of building the game Tereshinski put in, in his estimations, tens of thousands of development hours. His business partners Tyler Moore and Devon Staley, on the other hand, did not seem to put in quite as much work or take the project quite as seriously. According to the video embedded below, the two “were secretly stealing company money. They had secretly spent the overwhelming majority of both our Kickstarter money and the And Simulator investment money on liquor, restaurants, bars, and even strippers.” Unfortunately according to the LLC agreement this money is technically properly spent, and the two (now former) business partners were authorized to not only spend the money, but spend it as they did.
Unfortunately despite not being compensated for his work, Eric still cannot release the game under threat of a lawsuit. This, then, means the game is pretty much dead without its developer and without money. It’s unlikely any assets will be released to the public for any fan creations or in any continuation of development in any capacity. “This is obviously a huge and disappointing setback, but I am going to continue forward and continue to develop games,” Eric says in the video. “This is a setback, it’s not the end,” he adds, expressing his disappointment in the betrayal and the loss of money and time. Still, he continues to look forward.
I have sent several questions questions to the Etseeki email address in an attempt to contact Eric with further questions, but at the time of publication there has been no response. I will update the article if there is one.