On Friday, the United States Supreme Court acted on a long-standing right-wing threat to strike down Roe vs. Wadeand with it eradicate the constitutional right to abortion that had existed for almost 50 years. Now some of the most well-known game studios, who previously remained silent, are talking about the issue, with at least one, Destiny 2 manufacturer Bungie, directly condemning the Supreme Court’s decision.
In a Historic decision 6-3 – with the majority opinion written by many Republican judges who had previously declared under oath that deer was an established law – the Court removed fundamental protections of abortion, bodily autonomy and privacy, rejecting many of the legal arguments on which these protections were previously based. States now have the green light to legislate abortion bans, and in places where so-called “trigger laws” were in effect, like Texas, those bans are already ready to go into effect.
It is a difficult day for our country. Good people will be hurt by this decision. Bungie will do everything in its power to protect our employees and ensure they can live happy, healthy lives.
— pete parsons (@pparsons) June 24, 2022
“The United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade cuts millions of Americans off from that access and leaves open the possibility of even greater restrictions on life-saving healthcare for all of us,” Bungie said. wrote in an update to a previous blog post on the subject. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to championing reproductive choice and freedom.”
Following the decision, the studio said it will now implement a travel reimbursement program to help employees access any reproductive or gender-affirming health care they need, even if such care is criminalized in the employee’s home state. While Bungie is based in Washington, where some state-level abortion protections exist, the studio’s new remote working policy means that is not the case for all of its developers.
While the Destiny 2 manufacturer has always been outspoken on political issues, other studios are making their positions public for the first time, and some are committing to providing material support to employees. These are two things that more and more American workers are asking of employers as the country’s political institutions. not meet the moment where to stay captured by minority rule.
– Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) June 24, 2022
“We are human beings who create games” Insomniac Games tweeted. “Reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights.” The Sony-owned studio behind the next Spider Man and Wolverine games, Insomniac previously planned a US$50,000 ($69,410) donation to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), which its parent company would match.
This followed an email from Sony Interactive Entertainment director Jim Ryan calling on employees to “respect differences of opinionon abortion when a draft opinion on the Court’s decision first leaked. According The Washington PostSony also had demanded that Insomniac remain silent about his donation to WRRAP.
Now the dam of silence seems to be breaking. Other PlayStation Studios Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, Sony San Diego, Sucker Punch and Guerrilla Games began weighing in today. “We will continue to uphold these values and actively support all of our employees to receive the care they need and want,” tweeted Naughty Dog. “Reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights”, The guerrillas tweeted. While the Forbidden Horizon West studio is based in the Netherlands, its former boss and co-founder, Herman Hulst, is now the head of PlayStation Worldwide Studios.
— Sucker Punch Productions ? Ghost of Tsushima (@SuckerPunchProd) June 24, 2022
— Santa Monica Studio — God of War Ragnarök (@SonySantaMonica) June 24, 2022
But unlike Microsoft, which previously said it would also reimburse employees for expenses associated with seeking out-of-state medical care, Sony has yet to confirm whether it is taking similar action. His recently acquired Bluepoint Games studio is located in Texas, where a trigger law means abortion will now become illegal in 30 days. Sony did not respond to a request for comment.
Electronic Arts is another company that dithered on the issuepreviously avoid promoting public statements regarding attacks on transgender rights and access to abortion. It wasn’t until employees responded and reported threats of possible walkouts that the company released a blog post indicating clear support, stating. “As a company, we are united in the fact that trans people’s rights are human rights. Women’s rights are human rights.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) June 24, 2022
While the editor behind Fifa, madand Apex Legends said he was working on a benefits plan to directly address the needs of employees seeking out-of-state care, he has yet to share further details on the status of this initiative. Ubisoft has also recently spoken out in favor of trans and reproductive rights, but is also continues to review its benefit plans to see what financial support it will offer employees.
EA Austin, where BioWare Austin and other EA employees work, is one of several game studios located in the Trigger Law state. EA did not respond to a request for comment. Texas is also home to Gearbox Entertainment and Devolver Digital. Neither company immediately responded to a request for comment. Nintendo-owned Retro Studios is also located here. The Switch maker also didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Certain Affinity, an Austin-based studio currently providing development assistance for Infinite Halo, is one of the few to have defined a policy to move forward. “We will cover the pre-approved, documented and reasonable costs of your relocation to another safer state or province in which we operate.” CEO Max Hoberman announced in May. certain affinity reiterated this commitment today.
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