It’s Just a Messy Situation
The ongoing debate around Texas’ new abortion policy is affecting more than just politics and women’s rights. After tweeting his support for the law, John Gibson, president of Tripwire Interactive, a wave of backlash was sure to follow. He seemed aware of how controversial his stance would be; that was part of the reason he spoke out.
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
The replies were swift and decisive. Cliff Bleszinski, another prominent figure in the game development space, said simply: “You can unfollow me now.” But the repercussions weren’t just limited to Twitter comments: Shipwright Studios, a long-time partner of Tripwire, is now refusing to work with the company after these statements. They’re canceling all existing contracts they had with Tripwire, and certainly won’t be accepting any more.
Tripwire Interactive has a solid track record of released games: from Killing Floor to Rising Storm to Maneater, but nothing that’s reached the same levels as Pokemon or Call of Duty. Given that they don’t have quite as large a following as other studios, a group like Shipwright certainly seems like it would have been a major boon to future releases. While Shipwright is not a developer per se, according to their website they specialize in releasing games – determining ship dates, assessing risks, etc. Given how important release dates are, there’s no doubt that Tripwire’s taken a major loss here.