John Gibson, the CEO of Tripwire Interactive—the studio behind Maneater and Killing Floor—has “stepped down.” This follows the enormous public and internal backlash over his support for 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. The news was 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.