The programmer of Ant Simulator should return the cash he raised using crowd funded money. The people contributing the funds to support the programmers project were mislead as to how the money would be spent and would likely not have contributed the money otherwise. The programmer acted in bad faith to his contributors.
The lead programmer, in this case, did not become aware of his business partners reckless spending behavior until the project had already commenced. I think the lead programmer should have an opportunity to amend their behavior by replacing the money through his own means. However, if this can not be done then I think it is fair, at that point, to hold the programming team fully accountable and cancel the game.
Ant Simulator is yet another failure for video game crowdfunding. It shows the continued risk for anyone who chooses to support a video game idea on either Kickstarter or Steam Early Access. If true, the reasoning behind the collapse is both embarrassing and disrespectful. As it stands, it is just the latest in a long line of cautionary tales to those looking to buy into a gaming idea.
I think the game should still be developed because the money was given and how it was spent is not their business. The campaign worked and they got a lot of money, they should give back what the people who paid wanted. All the crowd financing is making people greedy.