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Tripwire's latest game, "Maneater." Screenshot: Tripwire Interactive

The head of Georgia-based game development studio Tripwire Interactive parted ways with the company Monday, two days after tweeting his support for Texas’ new abortion ban.

Why it matters: Tripwire CEO John Gibson's support of a law critics are calling "draconian" and dangerous sparked instant outrage.

  • “Effective immediately, John Gibson has stepped down as CEO of Tripwire,” the studio tweeted yesterday, citing a decision by its leadership team.
  • “His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community."

The details: On Saturday afternoon, Gibson tweeted: “Proud of #USSupremeCourt affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat.”

  • He continued: “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.”
  • He was supporting the new Texas law that bans abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is usually around six weeks, and authorizes citizens to sue anyone helping a woman obtain an abortion after that point — with the offer of at least $10,000 from the state if the suit succeeds.
  • The law, which includes no exception for rape or incest, all but bans abortions in the state and is strongly opposed by the Biden administration.

Blowback was swift — the tweet generated thousands of likes but scorn from scores more, including a top PlayStation developer, Cory Barlog, who tweeted: “how can anyone be proud of claiming dominion over a woman’s personal freedoms?”

  • Another Georgia-based studio, Shipwright, announced it would cancel its contracts with Tripwire. The development studio behind "Chivalry 2," which is published by Tripwire, also slammed Gibson's statement.
  • On Monday, Tripwire announced Gibson was gone, replacing him with co-founder Alan Wilson.

The big picture: Texas’ abortion law has provoked strong reactions among the public, though the response from the business community has been muted.

  • Lyft and Uber have said they’ll pay legal fees for drivers who are sued under the law.
  • But Texas CEOs have largely remained silent.
  • An exception: Max Hoberman, CEO of Austin-based game studio Certain Affinity, tweeted on Saturday that “this abortion ban” and other new Texas regulations “make recruiting to Texas exceptionally difficult, and may even drive away businesses.”

Go deeper

Game studio head: Condemning overwork isn't enough

Rumbleverse. Screenshot: Iron Galaxy/Epic Games

The upcoming battle royale game Rumbleverse had its first playable public demo session last Friday rather than over the weekend — for the sake of the developers’ work-life balance, Iron Galaxy CEO Adam Boyes tells Axios.

Why it matters: Boyes’ studio is one of many trying to find more ethical ways to operate in an industry that often works its developers to the bone.

1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.