Following the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, numerous Western gaming companies have publicly declared their pro-abortion stances.
On June 24th, following a review of the the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization legal case, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 6-3 vote that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” and “the authority to regulate abortion is returnd to the people and their elected representatives.”
Further, the court overrruled two further cases: Roe v. Wade – which, as per Norma ‘Jane Roe’ McCorvey’s own admission, was brought to the court based on a false rape claim – as well as Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
While some smaller gaming companies had already spoken out against such an overturn ever since the draft of this decision was leaked to the public, most larger companies had chosen to remain silent, with the notable exceptions of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
However, now that the overturn has officially passed, the floodgates of pro-choice support have opened across the video game industry.
A number of PlayStation subsidiaries, including PlayStation Studios London, Insomniac Games, Guerrilla Games, Media Molecule, Sucker Punch Productions, and Bend Studio, all posted the same image of white text upon a black backround which declared, “Reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights” followed by the company’s logo.
Insomniac Games added the preface, “We are human beings who make games”.
PlayStation subsidiary Naughty Dog gave a more personalized statement, tweeting, “Naughty Dog believes reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are basic human rights and essential to the health and wellbeing of everyone.”
“We will continue to uphold those values and actively support all our employees in receiving the care they need and want,” they added.
In his own statement, studio co-president Neil Druckman affirmed/ “I support NARAL in access to reproductive rights and bodily autonomy.”
“If you have the means, please join me in volunteering or donating,” he said, alongside a screenshot showing that he had donated $10,000 to the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, while PlayStation followed suit with half that. “And thank you to PlayStation for the generous match.”
“We believe reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are fundamental human rights,” Santa Monica Studio parroted. “Santa Monica Studio will continue to uphold these values and support our team members in receiving access to the care they need.
Bungie has been far from shy about voicing their support for abortion, having previously even remained that they would not be “muzzled” following their acquisition by PlayStation, and in the wake of the Supreme Court decision updated their original May 4th statement.
“Last month, we stated without reservation that all of us deserve to choose our own path and access the healthcare we need,” Bungie wrote. “The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade cuts off millions of Americans from that access and leaves open the possibility of even further restrictions on life-saving healthcare for all of us.”
“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 promised. “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.”
Reiterating the fact that they “remain undeterred in our commitment to stand up for reproductive choice and liberty,” Bungie concluded their update by asking players, “If you would like to donate to organizations that support those rights, there are several listed below that you might consider. We have updated the list to include Trans Lifeline as a possible resource to support.”
Bungie CEO Pete Parsons also bemoaned, “This is a difficult day for our country.”
“Good people will be hurt by this decision,” he tweeted. “Bungie will do whatever we can to protect our people and ensure they can live happy, healthy lives.”
“We now offer travel reimbursement to Bungie team members for gender-affirming or reproductive healthcare that is no longer accessible in your home state,” Destiny 2 General Manager Justin Truman reveaked. “I encourage all other studios to do the same, to protect our shared human rights.”
While PlayStation itself made no public statement, despite the aforementioned donations and other signs of support, Xbox was vocal in their opposition to the Roe v. Wade overturn.
“At Xbox, we remain committed to our employees to ensure equal access to healthcare,” the company declared from the official Xbox Twitter account. “We will continue to do everything we can under the law to support our employees and enrolled dependents in accessing critical healthcare.”
They continued, “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.”
However, in one similarity to their rival, pending Microsoft subsidiary Bethesda gave their statement in the form of a white-text-on-black-background image, therein writing “We believe the ability to make choices about one’s body and lifestyle is a human right.”
Outside of these two pillars of the gaming industry, the France-based Ubisoft – who have become deseperate to promote their diversity efforts after an affair exposed a myriad of sexual harassment complaints against the company – tweeted, “We fully support out teams in the US.”
“Today and every day, we believe that reproductive rights are human rights, women’s rights are human rights, trans rights are human rights, and equal rights for all are essential to a world where everyone can be their authentic selves and thrive.”
On their official website studio, Chief People Officer Anika Grant and VP of Global Diversity & Inclusion Raashi Sikka offered a statement which combined the company’s pro-abortion stance with their support for LGBT+ individuals.
“Hello everyone,” opened Grant. “Raashi and I are reaching out today because we’ve heard that some of you are deeply concerned by recent State legislation that affects the LGBTQ+ community and by the potential ramifications an upcoming US Supreme Court ruling could have on women as well as trans and non-binary people. We also heard that you wanted Ubisoft to be more active and vocal in our support of these groups.”
The two then insisted, “On behalf of [CEO Yves Guillemot] and all of Ubisoft’s leadership team, we want to be clear: at Ubisoft, we believe that women’s rights are human rights, trans rights are human rights, and equal rights for all are essential to creating a world where everyone can be their authentic selves and thrive.”
“As always, our priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our teams,” Grant stated. “We are continuing to review our benefits packages for US employees to ensure you and your family will have access to the quality healthcare you need, regardless of where in the US you live. In addition, we are examining what other resources we can bring to bear to support our women and LGBTQ+ team members in the US who could be most directly affected.”
Grant then turned to the fact that “June is Pride month in the US and in many other countries around the world. It is an important time to celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to culture and society, while also raising awareness of the challenges they continue to face.”
“Across Ubisoft, we are celebrating Pride by participating in marches, contributing to local organizations that advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and engaging in discussions about how we can be a more inclusive and supportive company for all teams and players,” Grant assured.
“Our global ERG [Employee Resource Group], UbiProud, and its local chapters across the world are playing an important role in building programming for this year’s edition,” she highlighted. “Pride is a commitment all year long and, in the US, our teams support front-line organizations that share our values like Trans Lifeline, Gay Gamers, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, and Qweerty Games.” On June 17, Ubisoft News will also be organizing a live stream to benefit The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth, and we invite you to tune in.”
Drawing the statement to a close, Grant added, “Finally, Raashi and I are humbled by the efforts of our Women and Non-Binary and UbiProud Employee Resource Groups. These ERGs, along with all of Ubisoft’s ERGs around the globe, help ensure a supportive work environment, promote professional development, share knowledge, foster inclusion, and build community for underrepresented groups within Ubisoft.”
“We encourage everyone to be an ally for these groups and support them in their important work,” concluded the CPO. “At Ubisoft, we celebrate the diverse nature of our teams. By valuing our differences and leveraging them as strengths, we can work together to create a workplace and games that are more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and that enrich people’s lives.”
Other publishers and developers who voiced their support for abortion rights included Devolver Digital, Double Fine Productions, ArenaNet, Niantic, InnerSloth, Future Club, That’s No Moon,, Airship Syndicate, Team Meat, Unbroken Studios, as well as individuals Stewart Chisam (CEO of Hi-Rez Studios) and Craig Zinkievich (CEO of Cold Iron Studios).
Curiously, the vast majority of these pro-abortion statements were issued via images rather than actual text – a formatting choice which makes it harder to easily locate them.
Finally, while many gaming companies spoke out in support of womens’ body autonomy, it should be noted that none of them voiced similar concerns against COVID-19 vaccination mandates, nor the numerous laws and regulations which continue to hinder the lives of those who chose not take it.
Far from it, Xbox even held a Q&A with the Center for Disease Control in hopes of dispelling “some common COVID-19 vaccine myths.”
What do you make of these companies’ support for widespread abortion legalization? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.