Tripwire CEO ‘Steps Down’ After Supporting Texas Anti-Abortion Law

Tripwire CEO ‘Steps Down’ After Supporting Texas Anti-Abortion Law
Photo: Sergio Flores, Getty Images

John Gibson, the CEO of Tripwire Interactive — the studio behind Maneater and Killing Floor — has “stepped down” following enormous public and internal backlash over his support of Texas’ recent decision to strip women of a basic human right.

Texas recently introduced a new anti-abortion law, known as Senate Bill 8. The controversial law bans abortion after six weeks and goes so far as to allow private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone even suspected of helping a woman end a pregnancy. This essentially creates a bounty system targeting abortion-seekers and enforced by random residents of Texas.

On September 5, Gibson tweeted:

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.

The statement was widely criticised within the industry, and just hours later one of Tripwire’s major development partners, Shipwright Studios, said in a statement “We cannot in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire under the current leadership structure. We will begin the cancellation of our existing contracts effective immediately.”

Gibson’s comments were also clearly opposed from within Tripwire as well, as this evening he has “stepped down” from his role as CEO, with the news announced by the company in a blistering statement that says “the comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company”, and that “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.”

Tripwire’s full statement is below:

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.

Comments

  • And before someone says he was ‘cancelled’, his actions, whilst personal, threatened the future financial viability of Tripwire, with Tripwire partners (Tripwire is a publishing house for a few other studios), and customers both releasing a collective ‘WTF’ and resolving to pull business from Tripwire.

    So yes, it might have been a personal opinion, but it effectively created a conflict with that of his role of CEO to ensure the company continued to grow (or at least be viable).

    • Listen, im one of the people on here who is very anti-cancellation, but im not exactly going to sit here and defend his opinion (or his right to have it) when it comes to this, this whole law is coocoo bananas that i find to be pretty disgusting and ive got better things to do like watching this on repeat.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXRWQefGh1U

    • You are entitled to your opinion, and perfectly entitled to stop reading and posting your brainwashed tripe… I guess…

      • that fact you assume the stand skintox takes means skintox is brainwashed is exactly why politics these days is so screwed up.

        theres no polite discussion or disagreement left. Just tribalism.

        • Explain to me how being on with the government putting a bounty on your head for getting medical care is something we can politely disagree on and I promise I won’t call you a monster anymore.

          • You say “I disagree due to x”, provide a list of reasons and if the person is beyond conversation, you ignore them and refrain from insults. The last part is extremely difficult given the nature of the topic, but in theory it’s possible.

  • You can’t just cover games, can you?

    Predictable. You just can’t help yourselves. You do realise that everyone has opinions? Sharing them does not constitute journalism.

  • The last story covering this had a bunch of informative comments on why the law in Texas is objectively moronic, regardless of “morality” or your religious beliefs. Before people start shitting on Kotaku for covering this issue, go read that, have a Google, then come back and let me know why Kotaku *wouldn’t* cover the issue since it resulted in Shipwright Studios dumping Tripwire as well. He had an extremely bad take, damaged business relations, got canned and that’s news whether people like it or not.

    • A moron in the gaming industry, which Kotaku covers, said something idiotic about a political topic and got fired. Hate to break it to you, but sometimes there is valid crossover to report on, much like when the local editors cover the sector getting federal grants for local development or when lootbox laws arse raised. Just because you don’t like the news covering a more charged issue doesn’t mean that it isn’t news.

    • Serious question.
      If you have such a huge problem with Kotaku’s politics, why do you continue to keep reading the site?
      Surely if it’s so crap, you would just move onto somewhere you do enjoy.
      This leads me to think that it is purely so you can come and post about how “kotaku has gone downhill”
      Or are you actually hoping that your comments will suddenly make the site start leaning more towards the right?
      Honest question.
      I don’t regularly visit sites that espouse politics I find unpleasant. It would do my head in.

      • Because Kotaku US and Kotaku AU are two different beasts.
        There is no other AU based gaming website, Kotaku AU is a lot less ‘blog’ based for the most part where US often has 3 paragraph posts because they can.
        And thats before you even get into Kotaku US politics that are….self explanatory.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!