Update (4:43 p.m, June 24, 2022): Publisher Bethesda, as well as independent studio Innersloth, have also voiced support. Sony-owned London Studio and San Diego Studio have joined in as well.
Update (7:47 p.m, June 24, 2022): Xbox and Electronic Arts have made official statements, with both companies affirming support for employees where possible.
What you need to know
- The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in a 6-3 decision.
- This decision undoes long-standing legal precedent, with abortion now illegal in numerous states across America, while introducing the possibility of abortion becoming illegal in other states.
- Game development companies across the industry have reacted with statement affirming that the teams stand for reproductive rights.
- Leadership at some companies have begun offering donations to organizations that protect reproductive rights.
In the immediate wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, multiple game development companies have begun making statements in support of workers in the US.
Destiny 2 developer Bungie, which has long spoken out on social issues, affirmed that the company would be helping support any employees that had to travel to receive needed healthcare.
"Bungie is committed to ensuring that every one of our employees and their families have safe and affordable access to essential healthcare needs," the studio explained (opens in new tab). "As we continue to expand our digital-first workplace to more states, we will now be implementing a travel reimbursement program for any employee to use when they or a dependent cannot get access to the healthcare they need where they live."
Multiple teams at Sony Interactive Entertainment's PlayStation Studios have also offered statements, with Bend Studio (opens in new tab), Guerrilla Games (opens in new tab), Insomniac Games (opens in new tab), Media Molecule (opens in new tab), and Naughty Dog (opens in new tab) all offering a variation of the statement "reproductive rights are human rights."
Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann noted that he was donating $10,000 to pro-choice organization NARAL, with PlayStation offering to match half the contribution.
I support NARAL in access to reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. If you have the means, please join me in volunteering or donating. And thank you to PlayStation for the generous match. https://t.co/QLEZiobOFw pic.twitter.com/KJT3EmpmAOJune 24, 2022
Prior to this news, when the Supreme Court's drafted opinion first leaked, Microsoft outlined that it would do everything possible under the law to protect the healthcare rights of its employees and provide support.
"Microsoft will continue to do everything we can under the law to protect our employees’ rights and support employees and their enrolled dependents in accessing critical health care — which already includes services like abortion and gender-affirming care — regardless of where they live across the U.S," Microsoft told The Washington Post. "This support is being extended to include travel expense assistance for these and other medical services where access to care is limited in availability in an employee’s home geographic region"
Independent studio Innersloth (opens in new tab), creators of Among Us, also joined in, sharing resources for people to donate and adding that "The ending of the constitutional right to abortion is a gender, racial, economic, and human rights disaster for both present and future generations."
Publisher Bethesda (opens in new tab), one of the two Xbox first-party publishers under Microsoft, shared on Twitter that "We believe the ability to make choices about one's body and lifestyle is a human right."
Publisher Electronic Arts (opens in new tab) shared a public message to its employees, affirming that the company will providing support where possible.
"We are working closely with our U.S. healthcare provider, Cigna, and will soon offer expanded travel health benefits, for eligible U.S. employees and their eligible dependents," the company stated. "Our aim is to provide the support and services that empower you and your eligible dependents to get the care needed to be the best, most authentic version of yourself at work and in other areas of your life."
Dan McCulloch, head of the Electronic Arts studio Full Circle, noted on Twitter (opens in new tab) that "Our support is unwavering for our people. EA and Full Circle are committed to expanding benefits for U.S. employees and their eligible dependents to provide the care, support and services for the health and well-being of our people."
The Xbox (opens in new tab) brand also made a statement, reiterating Microsoft's intent to support employees and provide assistance for affording and accessing reproductive healthcare.
"Our U.S. health plans cover lawful medical services like abortion and gender-affirming care, and we recently extended our travel benefits to include travel expense support assistance for covered medical services," the statement read.
How you can help
For anyone that wants to provide support, the National Network of Abortion Funds (opens in new tab) splits donations across numerous clinics. If you want to provide aid to people in more vulnerable places such as Southern states where abortion access can now be deemed illegal, there's Access Reproductive Care Southeast (opens in new tab). As mentioned above, you can also donated to the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation.
Trans Lifeline (opens in new tab) provides help specifically for trans individuals. For anyone who is religious, there's also the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (opens in new tab), which provides faith-based perspectives and education on reproductive rights.
Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.
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