CEO of video game developer Tripwire Interactive steps down after receiving backlash for tweeting his support of Texas abortion law

Tripwire 2 Killing Floor
Gamers play the video game ‘Killing Floor 2’ developed and published by Tripwire Interactive during the ‘Paris Games Week’ on October 27, 2016 in Paris, France. Chesnot/Getty Images
  • The CEO of a video game developer has stepped down after tweeting support for a Texas abortion law.
  • John Gibson tweeted that he was “proud” of the Supreme Court for allowing the law to be passed last week.
  • His tweet sparked backlash online, including criticism from fellow video game developers.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

John Gibson, the CEO of video game developer Tripwire Interactive, has stepped down after tweeting his support for a recent Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Tripwire Interactive, the studio behind the titles “Maneater” and “Killing Floor,” announced the decision on Monday evening in a statement.

“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 the broader community,” read the statement. In the meantime, it appointed its current vice-president and co-founder, Alan Wilson, as a new interim CEO, the company said.

Gibson tweeted on Sunday morning that he was “proud” of the US Supreme Court for “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,” he wrote in his tweet.

His comments soon received backlash on Twitter, including incensed criticism from other prominent video game developers such as Cory Barlog, most known for his work on the “God of War” series, and Cliff Bleszinksi, the lead designer for “Gears of War.”

A Twitter account for Shipwright Studios, which describes itself as a company in “game co-development,” responded to Gibson saying it would be cancelling all of its existing contracts with Tripwire Interactive “effective immediately.”

“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,” it said.

The Texas 6-week abortion ban prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, and exemptions will only be made in cases of medical emergencies. Additionally, it offers $US10,000 ($AU13,447) to private citizens who successfully sue abortion providers or anyone who helped someone get an abortion in violation of the law.

The new law came into effect last Wednesday at midnight, after the US Supreme Court opted not to block it based on a technicality. The ruling hinged on whether the court currently had the right to step into a dispute that the majority felt was not ready for a full hearing on its merits, and the justices said in their decision they had not ruled on the central question of whether the new Texas law was constitutional.

The new ban contradicts recent public opinion polling from Pew Research that found that nearly 59% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Tripwire Interactive, Shipwright Studios, and John Gibson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.