Tripwire Interactive President John Gibson has caused a media frenzy; stating his support for the Texas anti-abortion heartbeat bill.
The “heartbeat bill” was passed on May 19th, and came into effect September 1st. The bill banned abortions when a heart-beat can be detected (typically after six weeks of pregnancy), and sue those performing are facilitating such procedures for $10,000 USD.
Critics have decried it as encouraging “bounty hunters” to seek out victims of rape (or perpetrators themselves), or fears this could result in more pro-life laws via the Supreme Court.
One person to speak out in support of the bill was Gibson. As “so many” of his peers in the industry were open about being against the bill, Gibson felt he needed to openly support it.
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.
— John Gibson (@RammJaeger) September 4, 2021
As expected for such a hot-button issue, some have taken to Gibson’s reply and denounced him; stating refusal to buy Tripwire games, and even other developers such as Cliff Bleszinski showing their disdain.
Deeply appreciate you going public with your stance on this, as it allows me, the consumer, to make more informed decisions about my purchases going forward. pic.twitter.com/zqm6iNKDYo
— Séamus // Ophiolith (@Ophiolith) September 5, 2021
If you're so "pro life" John, show us the receipts where you've donated even a penny towards any sort of legitimate childrens funds or charities, John.
I'll bet you I've donated more to Doctors Without Borders alone than you've donated *ever*.
— Luca Renée Shoal, Rental Mommy 🦊🏳️⚧️ (@lucashoal) September 5, 2021
Looking at the utter lack of diversity at Tripwire, I can't say I'm surprised to read sh** like this. I'll make sure to keep this studio on my "do-not-buy" list.
Photo source:https://t.co/MhNIoYLr1q pic.twitter.com/o3qs0YWfYC
— Nick Landry 🍁 Black Lives Matter (he/him) (@ActiveNick) September 5, 2021
Bro, I don’t even care if you ever release GoW, just keep releasing this fire upon these dudes. Respect.
— ItsDoctorDreidel🗯 (@ItsDrDreidel) September 5, 2021
Oh man, the "keep politics out of gaming" crowd is going to be all over this!
— Anodos (@An0d0s) September 5, 2021
I wish these men would just admit they want to have authority over women’s bodies.
— John Phipps: Best Opinions Man (@GameDadJP) September 5, 2021
Fucking right, Adam?
— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) September 5, 2021
Pro life is a weird way to phrase it.
Your consent and input in the matter stops at unprotected sex. So if you'd like a say in lowering abortion rates, get a vasectomy. Beyond that, you are reaching far past where your control should be. Be a solution, not an oppressor.
— Alanna Linayre is playing Roll for Confidence! (@Tybawai) September 5, 2021
Journalists such as Imran Khan had openly offered Tripwire employees a way to speak anonymously (along with his own disgust of Killing Floor 2‘s music). Bloomberg and former Kotaku journalist Jason Schreier also highlighted the Tweet, and the action taken by Shipwright Studios.
“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. We have worked closely alongside the talented and passionate developers at Tripwire and your partners for the last 3+ years.
We know it is difficult for employees to speak up or act out in these scenarios, and they may 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.
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.”
We will keep you informed as we learn more.