The CEO of Tripwire Interactive has stepped down following a tweet supporting Texas's new anti-abortion law, remarks which caused one of the studios they work with to publicly announce they were cutting ties. With John Gibson vacating the chair, vice president Alan Wilson is stepping up as interim CEO. Tripwire made shark game Maneater as well as the Red Orchestra and Killing Floor shooter series, and have published games including Chivalry 2.
"The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company," Tripwire said in a statement last night, announcing his replacement. "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."
On Friday, Gibson tweeted in support of a new Texas law which bans abortions from as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. The law also encourages people to go after anyone who provides or supports abortions, offering a bounty of $10,000 (£7200) for successfully suing. The chair of the United Nations working group on discrimination against women and girls has said that it "is profoundly discriminatory and violates a number of rights guaranteed under international law".
A day later, Shipwright Studios, who've worked with Tripwire on several games, replied to his tweet with a statement. They said, "While your politics are your own, the moment you make them a matter of public discourse you entangle all those working for and with you." They expressed concern that "it is difficult for employees to speak up or act out in these scenarios" and said "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."
Their statement concluded, "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."
Torn Banner Studios, the makers of Chivalry 2, also spoke out against Gibson's remarks.
We do not share the opinion expressed in a recent tweet by the president of Tripwire, publisher of Chivalry 2. 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.— Torn Banner Studios (@TornBanner) September 6, 2021
Now, he's gone as CEO.
Tripwire's statement yesterday added that interim CEO Alan Wilson "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."