This story has been updated to include Gibson's statement.
Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson is "stepping down" from his role following comments he made on Texas's recently introduced six-week abortion ban. The law took effect on September 1 and prevents abortion providers from performing terminations at six weeks—which is usually well before anyone is aware they're pregnant.
Gibson's support triggered immediate backlash, with partner studios severing ties with the company, and Chivalry 2 studio Torn Banner Studios distancing itself from Gibson.
Here's Tripwire's full statement (opens in new tab):
"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 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.
"Effective immediately, John Gibson has stepped down as CEO of Tripwire Interactive. Co-founding member and current Vice President, Alan Wilson, will take over as interim CEO. 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. 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."
Gibson's departure comes after comments on Twitter in which he expressed pride in the controversial Texas law. "Proud of #USSupremeCourt affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat," he wrote (opens in new tab). "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."
In addition to developing games in the Killing Floor and Red Orchestra series, Tripwire Interactive also publishes a range of titles from other studios, including Chivalry 2, Road Redemption and Zeno Clash.
Gibson has now released a statement on his exit (opens in new tab), in which he urges fans to continue to support Tripwire's games in his absence. Here's the full text:
"By now you have heard of my exit as CEO of Tripwire Interactive. To the many fans, friends and peers across the belief spectrum that have reached out to offer care and support, thank you. It means more than you can imagine. For those upset about my exit, I encourage you to continue your support of Tripwire and their many amazing partners. Please know that the owners and and executive team of Tripwire have acted with class, professionalism, and have treated me well with great care and dignity, and I will be forever grateful for this.
"It has been one of my greatest pleasures in life to serve and lead the excellent team at Tripwire. Yet a team is more than just a leader – its heart and soul are the many great people that execute the vision and turn it into reality. I am confident that the many incredibly talented and passionate individuals at Tripwire will continue on to achieve even greater things. I know what is coming next from this team, and the world will be blown away when it arrives.
"To the many great partners we've collaborated with over the years I would like to say thank you for bringing your best to the table and working through many challenges to succeed together. From those that gave us our start via the MSU mod competition, to great digital distribution platforms providing us a platform to bring our games to the players – we would not have been able to get off the ground without you. More recently it was inspiring to see an amazing team's craftsmanship and drive to create the best medieval slasher possible. Behind the scenes excellent contractors enabled Tripwire to go further faster than we would have been able to alone. I wish all of these partners the best success now and in the future."