When news of the impending overturn of Roe v. Wade in the United first leaked in early May, so few games companies spoke up that national media called out the industry for its silence (or lack thereof if you’re Sony). That isn’t the case now that the judgment has been issued, as following the formal SCOTUS ruling yesterday, we’ve seen an avalanche of support coming from gaming studios for the reproductive healthcare of their workers. Here’s a quick scan of some of the MMORPG and MMO-adjacent studios that have spoken up for bodily autonomy and put their money where their mouths are.
Guild Wars 2 studio ArenaNet (and NCsoft West separately) and Destiny 2 studio Bungie were among the first developers to make statements (and among the very few to have made statements last month as well):
— ArenaNet (@ArenaNet) June 24, 2022
— Bungie (@Bungie) May 4, 2022
— Daybreak Games (@DaybreakGames) June 25, 2022
As a freedom-loving American, I am angered by today's Supreme Court decision to deny women the freedom to make choices over their own body. Hi-Rez will implement a travel reimbursement policy to assist employees with travel needs when healthcare is unavailable in a state.
— Stewart Chisam (@schisam) June 24, 2022
Xbox and Bethesda issued separate statements:
— Bethesda (@bethesda) June 24, 2022
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.
— Xbox (@Xbox) June 24, 2022
Electronic Arts (there’s also a whole blog post):
— Electronic Arts (@EA) June 24, 2022
Our support is unwavering for our people. We are committed to expanding our benefits for U.S. employees and their eligible dependents – our aim is to provide the care, support and services for the health and well-being of our people.
— BioWare (@bioware) June 24, 2022
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) June 24, 2022
Niantic (Pokemon Go):
— Niantic 🧭 (@NianticLabs) June 24, 2022
System Era Softworks (Astroneer):
Bodily autonomy and the right to choose is a fundamental human right no government should control.
System Era is committed to supporting all of our employees where reproductive and/or gender affirming care is threatened. 💙
— System Era Softworks (@SES_dev) June 24, 2022
Innersloth (Among Us):
🔹 Abortion Funds (split btwn 80+ diff funds): https://t.co/vf0taWU7w4
🔹 The Brigid Alliance: https://t.co/WOE61Szauv
🔹 Trans Lifeline: https://t.co/14SkEGJvuf
🔹 In Our Own Voice: https://t.co/9Wl4xuoQin
🔹 Plan C: https://t.co/WBwtXg1JNx pic.twitter.com/OB2zT8ORE9
— Innersloth (@InnerslothDevs) June 24, 2022
Studio Wildcard (Ark Survival Evolved):
— ARK: Survival Evolved (@survivetheark) June 25, 2022
Singularity 6 (Palia):
In support of our Sixers located throughout the US, we are committed to reimbursing travel expenses to a location that will provide team members with the care they need.
— Singularity 6 (@Singularity6) June 24, 2022
Cold Iron Studios (Aliens Fireteam Elite):
— Craig Zinkievich (@CrypticZinc) June 24, 2022
Riot Games apparently issued an internal memo stating that Riot is “committed to providing reproductive healthcare coverage and resources to any Rioter who needs it.” According to the worker who tweeted it, it reads, “We want all Rioters to have access to the medical care they need, and if a Rioter lives in a state impacted by this ruling and feels unsafe, we want to help. […] We’ll provide additional support, which could include out-of-state travel costs and potential relocation services. […] “In addition, we’ll be opening up 2x donation matching (two matched dollars for every one dollar donated) for Rioters who wish to donate to [relevant organizations].”
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) also issued a statement of solidarity. “We believe bodily autonomy and choice over one’s own reproductive and healthcare matters are pertinent to achieving this mission,” the group writes. “We are deeply concerned by increased government interventions undermining and limiting reproductive choice and access to care. We applaud and show solidarity with games industry and community leaders who are taking action to support all who are negatively impacted by these attempts.”
Well looks like the days of settled law in this country are over. What a sad day for women’s rights to control their own bodies and it’s obvious these idiots won’t stop there. Shame on the Supreme Court.
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) June 25, 2022
Personally I hope respectful protestors give these 6 Justices no place to enjoy themselves as long as this decision stands.
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) June 25, 2022
If you don't have autonomy over your own body, what real freedom can you have?
— Zack (@Asmongold) June 24, 2022
The Activision-Blizzard workers alliance and Gamespot have threads of organizations worth helping, though Activision-Blizzard itself has made no public statements, only an internal one [Update: Here’s an ABK VP making one on Linkedin.]
Last month we issued a statement, declaring our strongly held belief that all people deserve the right to make decisions about their own body. Today, with the news of SCOTUS repealing Roe v. Wade, we would like to reiterate this statement.
— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) June 25, 2022
Blizzard’s Valentine Powell has a long list of additional companies and groups with statements as well. The studios Powell names that we haven’t already are Naughty Dog, PlayStation London, Guerilla, Sucker Punch, Santa Monica Studio, Media Molecule, Insomniac, Heart Machine, Unbroken, NYXL, Airship Syndicate, Team Meat, That’s No Moon, Future Club, Dreamhaven, Recombobulator, The Sims, Devolver Digital, Akupara, Frost Giant Studios, Safe in Our World, Humble, Gravity Well, Scopely, Double Fine, and probably more by the time I’m done typing this sentence. There are also a few, like Respawn, with vague statements that don’t seem to be promising anything, and Amazon, which has a blanket statement for all of its subsidiaries, which includes Amazon Game Studios.
Please let us know in the comments if there are any online gaming studios we’ve missed.