Tripwire, a video game development company, announced on Monday that its CEO Josh Gibson “stepped down” due to his pro-life comments on a personal Twitter account.
“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,” Tripwire’s statement said. “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.”
Shortly after Texas’ newest pro-life law went into effect on Sept. 1, the CEO tweeted his support of the U.S. Supreme Court for declining to block the law.
“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,” Gibson wrote on Sept. 4 from his personal account.
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
Almost immediately, Gibson received an outpouring of backlash on social media. Shipwright Studios, another game developer, quickly announced it would terminate its three-year relationship with Tripwire over Gibson’s tweet.
“We cannot in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire under the current leadership structure,” Shipwright wrote in a statement posted in the replies of Gibson’s original tweet. “We will begin the cancellation of our existing contracts effective immediately.”
— Shipwright Studios (@shipwrightstdio) September 5, 2021
In Tripwire’s statement on Monday condemning Gibson’s support for the heartbeat law, the “Maneater” and “Killing Floor” studio announced that he would be hastily replaced by “co-founding member and current Vice President, Alan Wilson.”
“Alan has been with the company since its formation in 2005 and is an active lead in both the studio’s business and developmental affairs. Alan will work with the rest of the Tripwire leadership 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 concluded.