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Maneater Co-Developer Shipright Studios Cuts Ties with Tripwire Interactive Due to Anti-Choice Sentiment

Shipwright Studios, co-developer of the shark-simulation game "Maneater," has cut all ties with Tripwire Interactive over anti-choice remarks.
Shipwright Studios, co-developer of the shark-simulation game "Maneater," has cut all ties with Tripwire Interactive over anti-choice remarks. / Shipwright Studios

Shipwright Studios, co-developer of the shark simulation game "Maneater," has cut all ties with Tripwire Interactive over anti-choice remarks made by the latter's president.

The decision was made after John Gibson, president of Tripwire, published a tweet on his official Twitter profile applauding the United States Supreme Court for its silence and subsequent allowance of the controversial and allegedly inaccurately named anti-abortion bill in Texas. The bill—now law—has banned the abortion of fetuses beyond six weeks—effectively overturning a decades' long precedent and revoking reproductive rights for potentially pregnant individuals throughout the state.

According to his Tweet, Gibson felt he needed to "go on the record as a pro-life game developer." This did not sit well with his studio's now-former development partner, Shipwright.

In a graphic posted in response to the tweet on Sunday, Sept.5, Shipwright announced it would "begin the cancellation of [its] existing contracts effective immediately."

"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," the studio's statement read.

Shipwright went on to call the decision regrettable, citing their close relationship with the employees of Tripwire for over three years. However, it explained that staying silent would be "a disservice" to the entire industry at large.

It appears some parts of the industry agree with Shipwright's move. Torn Banner Studios, co-developer of Chivalry II, have also criticized Gibson's position. Its statement, posted shortly afterward, stated that his stance "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." It read.

Torn Banner has yet to confirm it will be following suit with Shipwright, contracts wise, at the time of writing.

The studios aren't alone. Several parties have criticized both the law and the Court's refusal to act as "draconian" and a human rights violation. In fact, the law has initiated more than a handful of other companies to take a stand for reproductive rights. These include the ride-sharing apps, Uber and Lyft, which have volunteered to pay their driver's legal fees should they be sued under the new law—alongside a hefty $1 million donation to PlannedParenthood from the latter. Others have considered moving their headquarters from the state altogether.

Neither Gibson nor Tripwire have yet to respond to the backlash from their former partner(s).