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Developers distance themselves from publisher Tripwire after boss’s abortion comments, CEO steps down - Update

Company president John Gibson’s comments of support for the new Texas abortion law were met with swift rebuke.

Update: Tripwire CEO John Gibson stepped down from his position in the wake of his comments on the abortion law in Texas. The company released a statement maintaining that “his comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community”. Co-founder and vice president Alan Wilson will step in to take his role for now.

The full statement:

"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. 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. Effective immediately, John Gibson has stepped down as CEO of Tripwire Interactive. Co-founding member and current Vice President, Alan Wilson, will take over as interim CEO. 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."

Original Story

In the latest example of words having consequences, the president of Tripwire, publisher of games such as Killing Floor 2, Chivalry 2, and Maneater, made comments that drew sharp criticism from the gaming community, resulting in several developers who work with Tripwire to issue damning statements distancing themselves from the publisher.

President John Gibson made a tweet declaring himself to be pro-life and supporting the new stringent abortion law that just went into effect in Texas. He made clear that he thought it was “important to go on the record as a pro-life game developer.”

The response from the gaming community was swift. Developer Shipwright Studios, who worked on Tripwire games Maneater and Chivalry 2, made an announcement they were cutting all ties from the publisher in a response to the original tweet. “While your politics are your own, the moment you make them a matter of public discourse you entangle all of those working for and with you,” Shipwright’s statement read.

While not as drastic as Shipwright’s response, Torn Banner Studios, who also did development work for Chivalry 2, also tweeted a negative response to Gibson’s comments, though didn’t go as far as cutting ties as of yet. "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."

And though not connected to Tripwire, prominent developers Cory Balrog and Cliff Bleszinski also condemned Gibson’s comments.

The Texas abortion law now allows anyone to sue someone for getting a procedure done after cardiac activity is detected in an embryo - as little as six weeks into a pregnancy. The Supreme Court allowed the law to go forward without issue, opening the door for other states to follow suit with their own stricter abortion laws.

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