Earlier today, the US Supreme Court overturned a landmark 50-year-old ruling that legalised abortion as a constitutional right nationwide. This was expected following an unprecedented leak earlier in the year, and it’s now anticipated that over half of US states will introduce restrictions or bans on the procedure moving forwards.
As a consequence, many companies and brands are speaking out in support of reproductive rights. That includes PlayStation’s numerous first-party studios. This is pertinent because it was previously reported that Sony had blocked its subsidiaries from commenting on the subject, although Insomniac Games did privately make a $50,000 donation to charitable organisation Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), which was matched by the Japanese manufacturer.
It all follows a controversial email sent by group president Jim Ryan, in which he’d asked staff to “respect differences of opinion” on the subject. This prompted a 60-page response from Insomniac Games, which was sent to PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst, demanding PlayStation leadership “do better by employees who are directly affected”.
Sony has since implemented plans to “provide financial assistance to employees who may have to travel to different states to receive reproductive care”. However, up until today, the manufacturer had prevented its studios from commenting publicly on the matter. That stance has softened, with a coordinated blast from its major teams on social media.
It’s important to note that it’s not just US devs like Insomniac Games and Sucker Punch that have spoken out in support of reproductive rights, but also European outfits such as Media Molecule, London Studio, and Guerrilla Games. Meanwhile, key employees, like Naughty Dog co-presidents Neil Druckmann and Evan Wells, have donated to charities such as NARAL, and have had their contributions matched by the company.