Insomniac Games have reportedly convinced Sony and PlayStation to donate to a pro-abortion organization and pay for travel expenses for abortions.
We previously reported how an internal email from Head of PlayStation Jim Ryan told staff to “respect differences of opinion,” and that PlayStation and its community are “multi-faceted and diverse, holding many different points of view.”
“We owe it to each other and to PlayStation’s millions of users to respect differences of opinion among everyone in our internal and external communities,” Ryan continued. “Respect does not equal agreement. But it is fundamental to who we are as a company and as a valued global brand.”
The comments were in regards to the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, after a majority opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was circulated by Politico. Ryan’s attempt to diffuse tension reportedly included the email concluding with five paragraphs over the first birthday of his cats.
Bloomberg reported that several employees were dissatisfied with the email, one stating they’d “never been so mad about a cat birthday before.” We now know how mad at least one subsidiary is.
The Washington Post reports that Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank, Marvel’s Spider-Man) would be making a $50,000 donation to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), as per an obtained internal email from CEO Ted Price.
In the email, Price reportedly stated that Insomniac Games were not allowed to make a statement about abortion or the donation, and there would be repercussions if they did.
“There would be material repercussions for us as a wholly owned subsidiary. Among other things, any progress that we might make in helping change [Sony Interactive Entertainment’s] approach would be stopped dead in its tracks,” Price reasons. “We’d also probably be severely restricted from doing important public-facing work in the future.”
“[Sony Interactive Entertainment] will not approve ANY statements from any studio on the topic of reproductive rights,” Price emphasizes. “We fought hard for this and we did not win.”
Instead, Price reportedly states he sent a “near-60 page” document filled with employees’ wishes for leadership and Ryan to “do better by employees who are directly affected” directly to PlayStation Studios’ President Hermen Hulst.
Whether it be the dossier or a desire to keep peace internally, it seems PlayStation are prepared to somewhat meet some of Insomniac Games’ demands.
Sony will reportedly be matching the donation, along with any made by Insomniac Games employees, and creating an initiative to offer financial assistance to staff requiring travel for abortion. Similar has been done by Amazon, Tesla, Microsoft, and Disney.
The email reportedly stated neither PlayStation nor Insomniac Games will tweet about the donations, and that Insomniac Games employees are forbidden from mentioning either company if they retweet announcements made by WRRAP.
Nonetheless, the email features Price’s answer to an employee asking if Insomniac Games’ 2020 acquisition was “now impacting our freedom of speech and our values.”
“As far as our freedom of speech goes, while we do have a LOT of autonomy that often gets taken for granted,” Price insisted, “there are times where we need to acknowledge we’re part of a larger organization.”
“For the most part, our ability to tweet has been unfettered. However, there are rare times when we’re in opposition (like this week) and SIE will have the final say.” Even if PlayStation are saying nothing publicly, it seems they are still prepared to fund a controversial policy to keep employees sated.
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