The tweet was not well received and was condemned by several members of the video game ecosystem, including development studios and industry professionals. Shipwright Studios, who was a development partner on Chivalry 2 and Maneater, ultimately rescinded their deal with the company, despite working closely alongside the studio for over 3 years.
Companies cut ties with Tripwire after CEO supports Texas abortion ban
John Gibson's tweet read: "Proud of #USSupremeCourt affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat." Gibson continued by saying he doesn't often "get political" but was compelled to "go on the record as 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.— John Gibson (@RammJaeger) September 4, 2021
Naturally, Gibson's tweet triggered a flare-up on Twitter, which saw several heated responses from notable members of the video games community. Cory Barlog, who is the director on God of War, criticized Gibson for being "all about this f*cked Texas bounty law" and questioned why "anyone [would] be proud of claiming dominion over a woman's personal freedoms."
jesus fuck, man. really? you are all about this fucked texas bounty law that pushes us closer to some kind of Gilead dystopian religious state?— cory barlog 🖖 (@corybarlog) September 5, 2021
I mean what the fuck, man. seriously, how can anyone be proud of claiming dominion over a woman’s personal freedoms?
In a response to Gibson's tweet, Shipwright Studios wrote that they "cannot in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire" and indicated that they would begin the cancellation of all existing contracts with the company, "effective immediately."
The creators of Chivalry 2, Torn Banner Studios, also explicitly condemned Gibson's sentiments regarding abortion rights. "This perspective is not shared by our team, nor is it reflected in the games we create. The statement stands in opposition to what we believe about women's rights," the company tweeted.
We do not share the opinion expressed in a recent tweet by the president of Tripwire, publisher of Chivalry 2. This perspective is not shared by our team, nor is it reflected in the games we create. The statement stands in opposition to what we believe about women’s rights.— Torn Banner Studios (@TornBanner) September 6, 2021
According to an article by PC Gamer, the new abortion law will effectively ban abortion providers from performing terminations once a fetal heartbeat is detected. The fetal heart is typically functional after six weeks gestation, which is often before most women know that they are pregnant.
"The law also empowers private citizens to sue abortion providers who break the ban, and receive a bounty of $10,000 if the suit is successful," the author noted. In a statement issued by the U.S. Presidential Office, Joe Biden condemned the Supreme Court Ruling on Texas Law SB8, calling the ruling a "bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties."
Neither Tripwire Interactive nor John Gibson made any further statements amidst the public outrage. We endeavour to provide an update should further developments unfold.
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Header image via Tripwire / PlayStation Lifestyle.