Tripwire Interactive president and CEO John Gibson has stepped down after his vocal support of Texas' new anti-abortion law sparked a severe backlash.
Tweeting from his personal account on September 4, Gibson praised the new Texas law -- which will prohibit people from having abortions from as early as six weeks into a pregnancy -- explaining that while he doesn't get political often, he "felt it was important to go on the record as a pro-life game developer."
Those comments prompted Tripwire's long-term partner Shipwright Studios to swiftly cut ties with the Killing Floor and Maneater developer. In a statement posted online, work-for-hire developer Shipwright said it would be cancelling its existing contracts with Tripwire "effective immediately," adding that Gibson had entangled those working for him in the controversy by making his politics "a matter of public discourse."
Tripwire itself echoed those remarks in a statement posted last night, and explained Gibson would be stepping down as studio leader so the company can "foster a more positive environment."
"The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company," said Tripwire. "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."
Gibson has been replaced by Tripwire co-founder and vice president Alan Wilson, who has been named interim CEO until the company can appoint a permanent successor.
"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," continues the statement.
"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."