Last month Insomniac Games (Spiderman) CEO Ted Price reportedly told his employees that parent company Sony “will NOT approve any reproductive rights statements from any studio.” Apparently that’s no longer true, as Insomniac and other Sony studios tweeted statements in support of “reproductive freedom” after the Supreme Court overturned the long-standing decision this morning Roe v. calf precedent on the subject.
“We are people making games,” Insomniac tweeted this morning. “Reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights.”
By the afternoon, many of Sony’s other North American game studios had begun tweeting similar messages, including sucker Punch (Spirit of Tsushima), cheeky dog (The last of us), Santa Monica Studio (God of War), San Diego Studio (MLB: The show), and Bending Studio (Last days). Some of Sony’s European studios including media molecule (Little Big Planet), guerrilla games (horizon), and PlayStation London Studiohave also joined in with tweeted statements of support.
“Naughty Dog believes that reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are fundamental human rights and essential to the health and well-being of all,” the studio wrote in its tweet. “We will continue to uphold these values and actively support all of our employees to receive the care they need and want.”
travel and other support
That little bit about “actively support[ing]“Employees may be less important to Santa Monica-based Naughty Dog as California is likely to continue to protect access to abortion through legislation. The parent company has yet to publicly follow Microsoft’s lead, which pledged in early May to fund overseas travel for employees who need it to seek abortion-related care.
Determination-Developer (and soon-to-be Sony subsidiary) Bungie led the gaming industry by offering strong public support for “reproductive choices” last month. Today, Bungie updated its public statement on the matter, outlining its own travel reimbursement program “which any employee can take advantage of when they or a loved one cannot access the healthcare they need where they live. We remain undeterred in our commitment to stand up for reproductive choice and freedom.”
In a statement to the press, Activision Blizzard reiterated its plans, first announced earlier this month, to offer “enhanced medical travel services” for issues “including reproductive health, gender-affirming treatment, transplant care and any other medical care.” . which is not available in an insured person’s state or within 100 miles of his or her place of residence.
Other major game publishers including Ubisoft, bethesda, Niantic Labsand Devolver Digital tweeted statements in support of reproductive rights today. And the International Game Developers Association, Ars said in a statement that “we believe physical autonomy and choice regarding one’s reproductive and health concerns” are vital to the organization’s mission. “You have to be in control of your own health issues to be successful in your career and life.”
Earlier this month (and under reported pressure from employees), Electronic Arts tweeted a Pride Month statement that included the phrase “Women’s rights are human rights.” [Update at 8:27 pm ET: On Friday EA issued a much more detailed statement saying that it “will soon offer expanded travel health benefits, for eligible U.S. employees and their eligible dependents.”]