Tripwire Interactive president John Gibson’s Saturday tweet praising the new Texas anti-abortion law has him under fire from not only gamers, but also partner studio Shipwright Studios, which on Sunday canceled its existing contracts with the studio behind hit games like “Killing Floor” and “Maneater” effective immediately.
Under the new legislation that took effect earlier this week, all abortions are banned in Texas after about six weeks of pregnancy, ending most Roe v. Wade protections in the state. Additionally, the new law will be enforced by private lawsuits which can be filed by anyone against almost anyone they believe to have been involved in an abortion that violates the restriction.
Saturday, Gibson sent out a tweet supporting the law, writing: “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.”
Criticism came swiftly from gamers, but the hardest hit came from the Shipwright Studios, an indie game developer that has worked with Tripwire on a number of products for at least three years.
“While your politics are your own, the moment you make then a public matter of public discourse you entangle all of those working for and with you,” Shipwright Studios said in a a statement released Sunday.“We know it is difficult for employees to speak up or act out in these scenarios, and they many 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.”
The statement concluded. “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. We will begin the cancellation of our existing contracts effective immediately.”
Many others in the gaming industry also spoke their mind about Gibson’s praise of the ban, and it was decidedly not good news for Tripwire. Here are a few examples: