UPDATE: The Kickstarter funds referenced actually pertain to YouTube videos Tereshinski later made featuring bits of Ant Simulator—videos which he is also forced to remove in light of today's events. However the game itself was funded with other sources.
Either way, both the Kickstarted videos and the game itself are now pulled. Apologies for the confusion, and still: Best of luck to Tereshinski.
Over the years, we’ve heard of more than a few Kickstarter projects vanishing into the void, collapsing, running out of money, and et cetera, but Ant Simulator has to be hands-down the weirdest saga yet. Over the weekend, lead programmer Eric Tereshinski resigned from the project after finding out his business partners “were secretly stealing company money.”
More specifically, “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,” says Tereshinski.
“My ex-business partners directly said to me, ‘If you release Ant Simulator without us, I will sue you.’ Resigning and canceling Ant Simulator is really the only option available to me right now.” Tereshinski continues in the video.
Check it out below. Fair warning, it makes for depressing listening.
Essentially what happened is that early on, Tereshinski signed an LLC with two of his long-time friends—and, as he says in a YouTube comment:
“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.”
Armchair lawyers have suggested Tereshinski sue or counter-sue his former friends for breaching their contract, but he claims the most likely outcome is “that things end up more or less the same as they are now”—minus a bunch of money for lawyer fees. So he’s walking away.
It’s neither the largest Kickstarter we’ve seen implode nor the most notable, but damn, it’s certainly the most sordid. Backers can apparently expect an email about refunds soon. Best of luck to Tereshinski going forward.