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The Real Reason Tripwire's CEO Is Stepping Down

Senate Bill 8, has been grabbing headlines after it went into effect in early September, leaving Texans scrambling to understand what the Supreme Court decision really means and reigniting the debate around abortion rights. It appears that the conversation has even reached the video game industry, as Tripwire Interactive's CEO John Gibson resigned after posting a message in support of the law.

Gibson made his feeling on Senate Bill 8, which bans abortions after six weeks (via NPR), known on Twitter. The former CEO wrote, "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 response on social media from Gibson's many "vocal peers" was swift, with an overwhelming number of gamers expressing their disagreement with the former CEO's statement. Some even posted images on Twitter in which they removed any Tripwire Interactive titles from Steam, including such titles as "Maneater" and "Killing Floor 2." Others went so far as to block the publisher outright.

However, it wasn't just gamers who expressed disappointment in Gibson's Twitter message, and it seems that his statement may have damaged a critical partnership for the company.

Shipwright Studios threatened to cancel its contracts with Tripwire

While the public's reaction to Gibson's statement on social media was very visible, it also seems to have caused a response within the video game industry — and within Tripwire Interactive itself.

One of the company's longtime creative partners, Shipwright Studios, posted a statement on Twitter condemning Gibson's controversial tweet. The message noted that while the former CEO's politics "are [his] own," bringing them to social media made it an issue that the company needed to respond to. The statement reads, "We cannot in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire under the current leadership structure," and went on to note that Shipwright would immediately seek to cancel any ongoing contracts with Tripwire.

It only took a day for Tripwire Interactive to put out their statement regarding the matter on Twitter, which noted that Gibson's words "do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive" and announced that vice president Alan Wilson would be replacing Gibson. While the statement did not specifically mention Shipwright's threat of canceled contracts, it did say that Gibson's statement "disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community."

Gibson has yet to make a statement regarding his resignation on social media or otherwise. However, but Tripwire Interactive's post mentioned that the company will begin holding company-wide town hall meetings to promote a dialogue between its employees and executives.