Destiny 2’s Bungie says it won’t be ‘muzzled’ by Sony when it comes to ‘standing up for what’s right’


For the last week, we’ve been covering a WAPO story on the games industry’s tepid response for reproductive health rights, which led to a baffling corporate memo out of Sony and then major pushback against Sony from its subsidiaries, including Insomniac Games, which forced Sony’s hand, pledged donations to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, and secured medical travel assistance for workers.

But in the course of this public relations mess, leaks made clear that Insomniac had been forbidden by Sony from making statements “on the topic of reproductive rights” and that workers were “forbidden from explicitly mentioning Insomniac or Sony should they decide to retweet any announcements” about the donation. In fact, the word we used yesterday was “muzzled.”

All of that might make you wonder whether Destiny 2 company Bungie, which is currently in the process of being bought up by Sony, would also be muzzled, as it was one of the few major companies to make a bold statement about Roe v. Wade.

“I admit, I’m just a CM in the grand scheme, but I’m confident in the following: We are, and will continue to be, Bungie,” Bungie senior community manager Dylan Gafner wrote on Twitter in response to one YouTuber’s similar concern. “There will never be a ‘muzzle’ big enough to stop us from standing up for what’s right.” The next reply – from no less than Bungie CEO Pete Parsons – joins in with a simple, “Yes.”

As if to prove it, Bungie is back with another statement, this time about the mass-murder in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend perpetrated by a terrorist who deliberately targeted a Black neighborhood for his crimes, which he streamed and attempted to justify with a repugnantly racist manifesto. Readers might recall that Bungie runs multiple “inclusion clubs” to support its workers and improve diversity in the company; the Black at Bungie group and Bungie itself are now selling a charity pin with profits donated to the SPLC. In the statement announcing the fundraising effort, the studio calls out gaming specifically as a haven for the racist toxicity that emboldens these hate crimes.

“Far too often, these racist attacks begin within online communities that are used to recruit and radicalize individuals. It is time we begin to examine our practices and see what part we can play in preventing these tragedies. Black at Bungie intends to partner with our Player Support and Community teams to see how we can bolster our ongoing efforts to maintain safe and anti-racist spaces in which our players and fans can come together. We hope our colleagues in game development and gaming communities continue to examine their own platforms and invest in practices to combat bigotry in all its manifestations. We believe games and their communities should be a force for good and we are committed to that.”

Source: Bungie, Twitter via Kotaku
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