The CEO of Tripwire Interactive is stepping down from his post at the Georgia-based game developer after a backlash to his comments of support for the new abortion law in Texas.
On September 4, John Gibson tweeted that he was “proud of [the United States Supreme Court] affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat.” He added: “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.”
Gibson’s comments drew sharp and swift criticism across the gaming industry, and studio partners like Torn Banner Studios and Shipwright Studios cut ties with Tripwire. Streamers announced they would stop playing Tripwire games. Two days after his tweet, Tripwire announced that Gibson is stepping down as CEO effective immediately.
Co-founder and current VP Alan Wilson is taking over as interim CEO.
In its statement, Tripwire said Gibson’s comments “do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company.” The statement goes on: “His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community. Our leadership team at Tripwire are deeply sorry and are unified in our commitment to take swift action and to foster a more positive environment.”
Alan Wilson, who has been with Tripwire since it was formed in 2005, will spend time working with the rest of Tripwire’s executive team to “take steps with employees and partners to address their concerns including executing a company-wide town hall meeting and promoting open dialogue with Tripwire leadership and all employees.”
“His understanding of both the company’s culture and the creative vision of our games will carry the team through this transition, with full support from the other Tripwire leaders,” the statement continued.
Tripwire’s latest release is the shark game Maneater, which passed 1 million players in September 2020. Tripwire also publishes the Killing Floor and Chivalry series.
The Texas law, which was affirmed by a 5 to 4 vote in the United States’ highest court, bans most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. You can read more about the law here at The New York Times, which has an extensive breakdown of everything you need to know.
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