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Tripwire President John Gibson Steps Down Following Anti-Abortion Statement

Tripwire President John Gibson Steps Down Following Anti-Abortion Statement - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 06 September 2021 / 1,547 Views

Tripwire Interactive in a statement announced John Gibson has stepped down as the CEO of the company following a tweet in support for the US Supreme Court's decision to not block a new Texas law that bans abortions for most women after six weeks. The Heartbeat Act includes a "a private civil right of action," which means any Texas citizen has the right to sue anyone involved in an abortion for up to $10,000.

Gibson faced criticism for the tweet with some developers, including Shipwright Studios, who have worked with Tripwire in the past saying they will never work with them again.

Tripwire Interactive co-founding member and current Vice President Alan Wilson will take over as interim CEO. He has been with the company since it was formed in 2005. 

"The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company," reads a statement from Tripwire Interactive.

"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."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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53 Comments
Darwinianevolution (on 07 September 2021)

The inability to separate the professional sphere from the personal sphere is going to end up tearing us appart. Being unable to express any opinion (regardless of the side of the argument and regardless of how uncomfortable it is) out of fear of professional consequence will end up with everyone being too afaid of commenting on anything. That's not a healthy way to have a discussion.

  • +15
Kakadu18 Darwinianevolution (on 07 September 2021)

After I got permabanned from resetera because my opinion conflicted with the mods' opinions I keep myself out of any sort of political discussion.
Sucks.

  • +10
Chazore Kakadu18 (on 07 September 2021)

Era is a molten cesspit of Karens and you'd do yourself a favour by staying away from that place. Anyone that joins there basically has to act like the borg or face a perma ban.

  • +18
Kakadu18 Chazore (on 07 September 2021)

Yeah, very toxic place.

  • +5
Chazore Darwinianevolution (on 07 September 2021)

Just keep your Pol opinions to yourself at your workplace and you should be absolutely fine.

Heck, an even better idea for those at work who like to use social media; MAKE A TOTALLY RANDOM ACCOUNT. Like don't make an account that's like "heyooo I'm the pres/owner of X company, look at me!.

Most people that are in charge or work at any company make this massive mistake of posting stupid crap from their main accounts, instead of being smart to make a totally different account for social media use.

I think Gibson was absolutely wrong and gets what he deserves, but my god is that man completely stupid to make such a post, on an account that basically tells the world what he does and what he works with.

  • -4
Astral (on 07 September 2021)

Typical modern mentality; Freedom of speech is the foundation block of our society, and it is a right for everyone, as long as you agree with us.

  • +9
Bandorr Astral (on 07 September 2021)

You speak of Freedom of Speech but you have no clue what it is. Freedom of speech is Freedom from the government. Not from consequences.

He let it know what his his opinion was. Many gamers let it known what their opinion was. The free market decided - not Freedom of speech.

  • 0
Astral Bandorr (on 07 September 2021)

You can define it any way you want fit that narrative, sure. But when "the free market" decision turned up to be a punishment in your livelihood for merely expressing your opinion, then no sir, That is nowhere near what freedom of speech principle means. Obviously that outcome sends a strong message to society that you may not express a similar opinion or you'll likely get punished by people of power and influence. You simply may not express your mind.

  • +7
JWeinCom Astral (on 07 September 2021)

Yup. Back when America was great, everyone had whatever opinion they wanted, and everyone said whatever they wanted and nobody ever complained.

Say, did you ever wonder why there were no openly gay actors before 1950? Did the profession not attract gay people back then? Or do you think gay people thought speaking about it might hurt their careers?

Isn't it weird how in 1978 the Supreme Court had to state that you couldn't ban people from holding office for being an atheist? They couldn't really speak freely, could they?

Oh, and that whole Red Scare thing? Where if you were a communist no place of business would hire you? And they had a commission to smoke out the Commies?

Facing social, and sometimes legal, consequences for your beliefs is not a new thing. Just happening to a different group of people who for the first time find it objectionable.

  • +6
Astral JWeinCom (on 07 September 2021)

I totally agree. In many ways, we never truly changed (and I'm not speaking of just America) but we are pretending that we have. When I see things like this happen, I can't help it but to be upset about all the hypocrisy everywhere.

  • +4
JuliusHackebeil JWeinCom (on 07 September 2021)

Before 1950 actors could not say they were gay.
Before 1978 poeple could not say they were atheists and hold an office.

Perhaps the Supreme Court should rule one of these days that you can freely support a law that is in force in your own country without the fear of severe professional consequences (consequences not unlike the ones gay actors would have faced before 1950, or atheistic politicians before 1978).

  • 0
scrapking JuliusHackebeil (on 07 September 2021)

Curious, are you aware that there's a though-crime provision in this bill? It criminalizes even considering helping someone commit an abortion (presumably they would need proof you were considering it, such as texts or emails). It also is built around the idea of private individuals suing private individuals over their abortion decisions, which is just... strange. Honestly, given the above, I would be concerned about anyone who spoke in favour of this bill because it's so deeply flawed. Even many pro-life politicians are distancing themselves from it.

That said, I agree with free speech. But I disagree with the combination of thought crimes and vigilante justice more than I agree with free speech. So I feel supporting this bill isn't acceptable, no matter what your opinion on abortion.

  • +2
JWeinCom JuliusHackebeil (on 07 September 2021)

No they should not (except for some narrow circumstances). Do you want the government deciding how you have to react to someone's opinions and what thought process you have to use when choosing who to do business with? In addition to being completely unworkable from a practical perspective that is a cure that is far worse than the disease. Having to downplay my atheism at work is far better than the court telling me I don't have the right to buy or not buy particular products for any reason I choose, or telling a business that they have to maintain a business relationship with a certain party regardless of the fact that it may sink the company.

Not to mention that the supreme court literally can't do that. They cannot make a blanket rule like that, they have to have an active controversy in front of them to rule on.

  • +2
scrapking JWeinCom (on 08 September 2021)

His supporters want him to be able to say whatever he wants, but he's encouraging support for a bill that reduces the rights of women to have autonomy over their bodies. That's more than a little contradictory. He can do whatever he wants, but pregnant women have to act within 6 weeks, even though they may not know they're pregnant yet? They want him to have more autonomy than he wants women to have. Not saying he shouldn't have autonomy, but it's a tragedy that he's using it to advocate for removing autonomy from others.

  • -1
SanAndreasX Astral (on 07 September 2021)

Standing to sue is a “foundation block” of our society. The government of the state of Texas just took a jackhammer to that block. I’m far more worried about this gross abuse of power by a state government. They have weaponized half of their population against the other half. That’s what this guy supports.

  • +4
scrapking SanAndreasX (on 07 September 2021)

Don't forget that it's based around the idea of vigilante justice, and criminalizes the thought crime of even considering helping someone get an abortion, even if you decide not to go through with aiding them.

  • +8
SanAndreasX scrapking (on 07 September 2021)

And there are no repercussions for false accusations. Even if the defendant wins, they are still
on the hook for the legal bills. That’s one of the more nefarious provisions in this bill. You basically have standing to falsely sue anybody in Texas with zero legal consequences.

  • +4
scrapking SanAndreasX (on 08 September 2021)

Holy wow, I didn't even know that about this bill! Thanks for the additional info, SAX.

  • 0
Marth (on 07 September 2021)

They did it within 6 weeks, so he should be fine with this.

  • +6
Radek Marth (on 07 September 2021)

I Hope such thing happens to you in your work place.

  • 0
JWeinCom Radek (on 07 September 2021)

If he's not a dumbass, it won't.

  • +3
scrapking Radek (on 07 September 2021)

woosh You seem not to have connected with the reason why Marth said "within 6 weeks".

  • +7
Radek scrapking (on 07 September 2021)

No I did, but it doesn't make the comment funny. Killing babies over 6 weeks isn't equal to getting fired from a job.

  • -7
Radek Radek (on 08 September 2021)

Damn this site is absolutely full of left leaning baby killing people. Keep disliking my comments if it makes you feel better about yourselves.

  • 0
scrapking Radek (on 08 September 2021)

At first you were talking about free speech, and now you're talking about baby-killing. The two are not connected. I presumed any dislikes of your earlier comments were based on your comments about protected speech, but you seem to presume they were about baby-killing.

As for left-leaning, I know lots of right-wingers who support abortion, and several have even had abortions. So you've conflated that too.

  • 0
scrapking Radek (on 08 September 2021)

With that attitude, I dearly hope you're vegan. If so, good on you, you're applying your ethics with consistency. If not, be aware that you're applying your ethics with hypocrisy. You don't have to value a cow, or a pig, or a dog, or a cat, as highly as a human. But if you care so much about not killing, you should value a chicken's life more than you value your tastebuds.

If you're making hundreds of animals unnecessarily suffer and horrifically die for your food every year, then it's my pleasure to inform you that you have the ability to be pro-life every single meal.

  • 0
JuliusHackebeil (on 07 September 2021)

I don't get it. What does this have to do with his job?

  • +5
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JWeinCom JuliusHackebeil (on 07 September 2021)

You see how literally a post ago you praised Shikamaru for boycotting their company for his objection to their political stance? Likewise, people, apparently many more, wanted to boycott/not work with the company because of his stance.

When that happens companies lose $$$$$. That's what it has to do with his job. Part of his job is not doing things that cost the company $$$$. Investors don't like losing $$$$$. Investors will apply pressure to get a new CEO who won't cost them $$$$$. Old CEO will step down to save face.

  • +4
JuliusHackebeil JWeinCom (on 07 September 2021)

"What does this have to do with his job?" - I wondered. Clarification: I get why he had to step down. $ - Yeah. But I disapprove of this lynchmob mentality where a persons professional career is destroyed by his personal, political/social opinions that really don't have anything to do with his job. Or rather: they should not.

Saying that a resulting boycott of the company is the same is false equivalency: they acted as a company, taking such a stance. So I can totally critique them as a company. (As opposed to just some guy who happens to work at company xy.)

But what makes me even more sick is the thinnly veiled hypocracy: for all we actually know many there at his company could very well share his (apperantly wrong by default) beliefs. It is just about a statement. A front, a facade to put on. They cave in to the twitter mob. And now they have to lie to them and everybody else. Isn't it rediculous that a company that makes video games even has a sort of opinion/stance on that matter at all? That entity surely will never be effected by abortions.

  • +7
JWeinCom JuliusHackebeil (on 07 September 2021)

Wow. You have sickened yourself by concocting a scenario entirely in your own head in which all of the board of directors are all secretly lying. You have been offended by your own imagination. Impressive.

There is no magical transformation that happens when someone leaves the office. The distinction you're making is purely arbitrary. A company is not an actual thing. It is a group of people. If the CEO of Burger King was constantly going off on twitter about how he/she thought it should be legal to rape children and skin them alive would you keep buying Whoppers? Should the CEO be fired?

If no, then you agree that what someone says in their private twitter is a perfectly valid reason to boycott a company/fire an exec. You are dishonestly pretending your argument is "I don't think anyone should ever face professional consequences for what they say on Twitter" when your argument is actually "I don't think CEOs should ever face professional consequences for supporting Texas' abortion laws."

Oh, and if yes, then that's pretty fucked up.

  • +2
JuliusHackebeil JWeinCom (on 07 September 2021)

Wow, the heat is on. I surely did not want to antagonise you. But I don't mind a bit of rough discussion either. Just wanted to point that out, as we see things quite different on this topic.

To your first paragraph: I don't say that the entire board of directors is secretly lying. I'm saying it would be one hell of a coincidence, if everyone there was against these laws. It just comes off as totally dishonest. Everytime something like that happens, an official statement for the whole company has to be made: No, no, no, we see it totally different. -Yeah, I'm sure you do. They have to play make beliefe so that some self righteous virtue signaling lowlife can feel as if he/she made a difference towards a better world.

To your second paragraph: I would never argue that a person who breaks the law or shows every intent to break the law in such a repulsive manner should ever keep their job. But for people who support the law - they should totally keep their job. Even if it is a law many seem to disagree with.
And I wonder about distinctions here myself: You say that there is no real distinction between a company and a person. Yet if that was true, Gibson would be against these abortion laws, since that is the companys stance. Clearly there is a distinction and a company is a very real, actual thing, even if you cannot touch it. Officially: company = against these laws. Logically: many employees there = for these laws. Conclusion = hypocracy to appease the loud.
If the CEO of Burger King openly supports a law I hate, say death penalty, I would argue against him, since it is only he personaly who is showing support. But if he said the companys official stance is to support the death penalty, I would not be against him at all (because hell if i knew how he thinks), but very much against the company.
And I'm also against this company now, since there stance is: If an employee does not have the same values about abortion the company has, they are not fit to work here. -That is way too draconian for me.
To be against the company because somebody who works there shows his private support for the law - I still cannot wrap my head around how this is not a recipe for disaster. Or in short: I hate cancel culture.

To your third paragraph: My argument is not "I don't think anyone should ever face professional consequences for what they say on Twitter." And my argument doesn't just concern Texas abortion laws either. (By the way, I'm way more liberal on abortion than you might think.) My argument is: "I don't think anyone should ever face professional consequences for what they say on Twitter, as long as it is not completely batshit crazy, utterly intolerable, or breaks the law." More vague than I would like, but as good as it gets for me.
Perhaps this opinion lends itself more to judgement on a case by case basis. Talking about wanting to rape children (your example) = professional consequences. Support for a law many disagree with = no professional consequences. At least that is how I see it.

  • 0
JWeinCom JuliusHackebeil (on 07 September 2021)

"Wow, the heat is on. I surely did not want to antagonise you. "

Who said I was antagonized?

"I don't say that the entire board of directors is secretly lying. I'm saying it would be one hell of a coincidence, if everyone there was against these laws."

You said you were "sickened". If you were sickened by something purely hypothetical, that's bizarre. About 61% of Americans believe abortion should be a right during the first trimester. Even more would believe in exemptions for rape victims, which the law does not provide. You only need half of the board of directors (generally, depends on the particular corporations established rules) to oust the CEO. It does not seem at all unlikely that at least half the company feels that way (which would make it the "official" position) or even that all of them would.

"And I wonder about distinctions here myself: You say that there is no real distinction between a company and a person."

No, I didn't say that. I said a corporation is a group of people. Obviously a person is not a company that would make no sense XD.

"But if he said the company's official stance is to support the death penalty, I would not be against him at all (because hell if i knew how he thinks), but very much against the company."

And suppose every person in the company felt that way and posted about it on their personal twitter but never on the company's? Then does the company believe that? The wall you're putting up is a fiction. A company has no positions. Tripwire does not have any opinion on abortion. I promise you if we eliminate all of the human beings that are affiliated with Tripwire, it will never give say a word about abortion at all.

"If the CEO of Burger King openly supports a law I hate, say death penalty, I would argue against him, since it is only he personaly who is showing support. "

No, the CEO of Burger King did not break laws, nor did they show an intent to. They advocated for a prospective law they would favor, which is no different than supporting a particular law that was passed.

"Perhaps this opinion lends itself more to judgement on a case by case basis. Talking about wanting to rape children (your example) = professional consequences. Support for a law many disagree with = no professional consequences. At least that is how I see it."

Yes, that's exactly the point of the example. When someone says something you find objectionable enough, you think it's fine for them to suffer professional consequences for the opinions they express outside of their job. You do not believe that people can not be punished for what they say on twitter as an individual. You just happen to agree with what he said in this case, or at least don't disagree strongly enough that you think he should face consequences.

You are not advocating that people have the right to freely express their ideas without consequence, you are arguing that people should have the right to freely express ideas you find acceptable without consequence.

  • +8
Chazore JWeinCom (on 07 September 2021)

Also the company image has now been stained and will require work to fix the damage that idiot has done.

People forget that when an idiot screws up any company image, it's going to drive customers and investors away and that ultimately costs money.

  • 0
JuliusHackebeil Chazore (on 07 September 2021)

Did not hear about it until he got fired. And that is exactly what drives me (potential customer) away from them now. And I'm surely not the only one more disappointed with the companys actions than with Gibsons words. I would argue that if they did nothing, that would mean less harm for the company.

  • -3
Chazore JuliusHackebeil (on 07 September 2021)

If they did nothing I would have stopped buying from them, but at the end of the day, they were one exclusivity deal away from getting me to stop buying from them forever.

  • +2
TallSilhouette (on 07 September 2021)

That was quick.

  • +4
pokoko (on 07 September 2021)

Liberals really need to change their name to something else.

  • +2
thismeintiel (on 07 September 2021)

Welp, won't be buying anymore games from them.

  • +2
shikamaru317 thismeintiel (on 07 September 2021)

Same. I don't typically resort to boycotts but I'm tired of all this bs. I enjoyed Maneater, but if there is a sequel I won't be playing it now. It's wrong to fire somebody for their personal beliefs posted on their personal twitter account.

And to all of those who are inevitably going to downvote me, I ask you this preemptively: If the shoe was on the other foot, if a gaming CEO had publicly stated that he was against the Texas Abortion law, and then was subsequently attacked on twitter and fired by his own board of directors, would you be ok with it? I very much doubt that you would.

  • -4
JuliusHackebeil shikamaru317 (on 07 September 2021)

Regrettably, I can upvote you just once. Your example really shows the dangers in such behaviour.

  • -9
JWeinCom shikamaru317 (on 07 September 2021)

So... you want to boycott a company because you dislike the Board of Directors and their positions, regardless of whether or not that impacts the quality of their games...

And you wonder why the Board of Directors would want to get rid of a CEO for his positions when they have no impact on the quality of their games?

  • +10
JuliusHackebeil JWeinCom (on 07 September 2021)

Destroying a persons livelihood due to that persons personal, socio-political opinions and criticising a company for hypocritically caving in to the twitter mob are not the same things at all. If a company acts you can critique the company. If a person acts you should ideally only stay on the person and not involve their job or whatever.

And it is not a mistery to my why this had to happen. It is just not right.

  • +1
Chazore JuliusHackebeil (on 07 September 2021)

Gibson ain't going to starve.

The law itself was entirely stupid and damaging and supporting such a law means said people want to harm others in the process. How some folks here cannot see that is beyond me.

  • +5
JuliusHackebeil Chazore (on 07 September 2021)

It is not about how much money he has, but about the fact that you cannot express your private opinions of support for a law, without having to fear for your job.

This law you think is bad. So sure, fire him for supporting it. But what if the next law you think is a-okay? And than you support it. And than you have no job? Where is the distinction? Who says which laws are safe to support and which are not? Are you sure Gibson (a person you don't know at all) was out to harm others? Isn't that just a bit to convenient?

  • +4
Chazore JuliusHackebeil (on 07 September 2021)

Yes but he openly stated support for a law that is and will cause harm to those in need of an abortion, and he supports denying people that right, which is stupid no mater how hard anyone tries to spin it.

This law is objectively bad, only religious asshats believe in that utter nonsense. Imagine a rape victim or someone who could die from childbirth, being denied the right to an abortion?. It's wholly stupid to think it's a decent law.

No one's fired him either, the man stepped down because he realised he actively killed his own career. That was entirely all on him for being a jackass on open social media, for all to see. You are free to say what you want, but you are not free from the consequences.

Here's the thing, that guy either is religious, wants to control women or is such a retard that he didn't do any research into the implications this law could pose towards women. If I were in his position I'd keep my mouth shut and also do some actual research to open the mind to the subject law.

You know just because someone doesn't have a gun pointed to my head doesn't mean they are free from sin and negative/harmful thoughts, right?.

  • +7
Bandorr thismeintiel (on 07 September 2021)

I see you too understand the powers of Free market.
CEO says something. Others say "we aren't buying your shit".
They Fire CEO. Others say "we aren't buying your shit".

If more people supported his opinion he would be re-instated.

  • +1
DubiousDidact (on 06 September 2021)

Nice

  • +2
Kakadu18 (on 07 September 2021)

Predictable course of action.

  • +1
mjk45 (on 07 September 2021)

I'm Australian so I'm not on top of the US legal system, does the Supreme courts decision not to look at the case raise the chances of Biden increasing the Supreme court bench and if so would it make a difference to this case.

  • 0
shikamaru317 mjk45 (on 08 September 2021)

Congress has to vote for a Supreme court expansion first, Biden can't add more justices to the Supreme Court without Congress. And as of April this year at least, more than 10 Democrats, both in the House and in the Senate, had stated that they were against packing the supreme court, including several Senate Democrats, and since the Senate is 50/50, Kamala can't use her vote to break the tie unless all 50 Dems are on board. Court packing seems unlikely to happen anytime soon, Dems will likely need to do well in 2022 elections to increase their majorities in both houses of Congress, and/or run progressive candidates who are in favor of court packing against the more moderate Dems who are opposed to court packing in the 2022 primaries.

  • 0
mjk45 shikamaru317 (on 08 September 2021)

thanks for the reply much appreciated

  • 0
NobleTeam360 (on 07 September 2021)

Goodbye, farewell be on your merry way!

  • 0