Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson has stepped down from his position, following his controversial anti-abortion tweets over the weekend.
Gibson came under fire after he publicly supported a new anti-abortion law that recently passed in Texas. The law, known as Senate Bill 8, prevents abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy, and makes anyone who assists in an abortion vulnerable to lawsuits.
While the law was predictably controversial, Gibson came out in support of it, tweeting:
“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.”
These comments attracted instant criticism from across the industry – and seems to have resulted in him stepping down as CEO.
“The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company,” said the company in a statement. “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.”
The move may have been the resulting of mounting pressure on Tripwire. Shortly after Gibson’s tweet, Shipwright Studios announced that it had begun cancelling all contracts with Tripwire, after having worked with the company for over 3 years.
“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,” said the company on Twitter.
“We know it is difficult for employees to speak up or act out in these scenarios, and they may not feel comfortable to speak their minds. It is regrettable, but we feel it would be doing ourselves, your employees, your partners and the industry as a whole a disservice to allow this pattern to continue without comment.
“We started Shipwright with the idea that it was finally time to put our money where our mouth is. We cannot in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire under the current leadership structure.”
Co-founding member and current Vice President Alan Wilson will be replacing him as interim CEO.