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Games Industry Reacts to Overturning of Roe v. Wade

Abortion rights demonstration in Los Angeles
Abortion rights demonstration in Los Angeles / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

Many prominent game development studios have spoken out about the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Friday overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion in the U.S. in 1973.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision on a Mississippi case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, almost half of states are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion.

Among the loudest voices on the matter, stemming back to May in which a leaked draft majority opinion initially indicated that the court was on track to overturn the decision, was Bungie (H/T Blizzard UI engineer Valentine Powell).

"Bungie is committed to ensuring that every one of our employees and their families have safe and affordable access to essential healthcare needs," Bungie's statement reads. "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. We remain undeterred in our commitment to stand up for reproductive choice and liberty."

Though it has yet to be fully acquired by Sony for a reported $3.6 billion, Bungie was not alone among the video game maker's studios in speaking out on social media.

Despite Sony reportedly forbidding employees from issuing public statements on abortion last month, as well as President and CEO Jim Ryan notoriously sending out a company-wide email asking employees to "respect differences of opinion" around abortion rights, several major Sony studios published pro-choice statements in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. They include:

According to a recent report by @MattBelloni, Sony will be joining Netflix, Disney, Paramount, Comcast, Warner Bros. and Amazon as major entertainment companies that will provide travel reimbursement for healthcare expenses related to the ruling.

In a similar fashion, Electronic Arts, who told employees it wouldn't comment on the leaked draft of the Supreme Court decision last month, put out a statement announcing that it is expanding its benefits to "continue to foster a work culture that is supportive and open."

"We know this issue matters," EA's company-wide shared message reads, "generating a range of emotions for you and your loved ones, whether you’re based in the U.S. or abroad. Your health and well-being are our top priority. 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. 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."

Meanwhile, perhaps the most explicit responses came from Super Meat Boy developer Team Meat, and from gaming and esports organization NYXL.

Here is a list of some other newly made statements published on the matter by various gaming brands: