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Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson stepped down from his position on Monday after posting on Twitter that he was proud of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a Texas law that bans most abortions. Tripwire Interactive will be led by the company’s vice president and co-founder, Alan Wilson, who is taking the role of interim CEO.
Gibson’s tweet, posted this past Saturday, drew strong reactions the next day from members of the game industry. Cory Barlog, the creative director of God of War developer Sony Santa Monica Studio, pulled no punches, saying “you are all about this fucked Texas bounty law that pushes us closer to some kind of Gilead dystopian religious state? Really???”
Reactions to Gibson’s statement weren’t limited solely to individual members of the games industry. Two companies that have worked with Tripwire also rebuked Gibson’s statement, with one, Shipwright Studios, canceling all “of our existing contracts effective immediately.” Torn Banner Studios, which developed Chivalry 2 with assistance from Shipwright, also spoke publicly against Gibson’s statement, saying “This perspective is not shared by our team, nor is it reflected in the games we create. The statement stands in opposition to what we believe about women’s rights.”
Proud of #USSupremeCourt affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat. As an entertainer I don’t get political often. Yet with so many vocal peers on the other side of this issue, I felt it was important to go on the record as a pro-life game developer.
— John Gibson (@RammJaeger) September 4, 2021
In its statement naming Wilson as interim CEO, Tripwire Interactive, which has recently published Maneater and Chivalry 2, said “The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company. His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners, and much of our broader community.”
The highly controversial Texas law, which went into effect across the Lone Star State this past Wednesday, effectively bans most abortions. Specifically, it prevents women from receiving an abortion after a heartbeat from the embryo can be detected, which is usually by the sixth week of pregnancy. In his statement, Gibson said “As an entertainer I don’t get political often. Yet with so many vocal peers on the other side of this issue, I felt it was important to go on the record as a pro-life game developer.”