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CEO of gaming company gets canceled over backlash after voicing pro-life stance, support for Texas law

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Gamers play the video game "Killing Floor 2" developed and published by Tripwire Interactive. (Chesnot/Getty Images)

The CEO of Tripwire Interactive, a Georgia-based video game company, has been canceled after voicing support for the Supreme Court's decision not to block a controversial Texas abortion law.

The Supreme Court declined last week to block SB8, a Texas bill signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in May. The law essentially bans all abortions after six weeks, or the period of gestation after which a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Enforcement of the bill is carried out by Texans themselves, who can sue abortion providers or anyone who "aids or abets" the abortion procedure. The law, however, does not permit Texans to sue women who seek abortions.

What happened?

On Saturday, Tripwire Interactive's now-former CEO John Gibson tweeted that he was "proud" of the Supreme Court's decision.

Working in an echo chamber that mostly reverberates with pro-abortion voices, Gibson explained that he believed it was "important" to publicly state that he is, in fact, a "pro-life game developer."

"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," Gibson said.

The tweet triggered an avalanche of backlash, with detractors regurgitating trite pro-abortion talking points.

Cancel Culture then blasted off when at least one company that conducted business with Tripwire Interactive announced plans to sever all existing contracts with Tripwire. Gaming developer Shipwright Studios said it could not "in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire under the current leadership structure."

What did the company say?

Tripwire Interactive announced Monday that Gibson had "stepped down," a veiled way to say he was forced out of the company in response to growing outrage over his pro-life stance.

In a statement, Tripwire Interactive said Gibson's comments "disregarded the values" of the gaming community and issued a mea culpa for Gibson's remarks.

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.

Tripwire Interactive is known for developing the games "Red Orchestra," "Killing Floor," "Rising Storm," and "Maneater."

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