Questions and clatter And Spider Man Developer Insomniac Games Make a donation of $50,000 to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), and its parent company, Sony, will match that number. But the donations come amid a public silence from both companies over the contentious issue and reports of the internal drama surrounding the response to the Supreme Court’s efforts to overturn the 1973. Raw vs. Wade precedent.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that PlayStation President Jim Ryan sent an email to employees urging them to “respect the differences of opinion between everyone in our internal and external communities” on issues such as abortion rights. “Respect does not equal agreement. But it is fundamental to who we are as a company and as a global brand of value,” Ryan reportedly continued.
And the same email went on to share a more “hilarious” and detailed story about Ryan’s cat birthdays, according to Bloomberg, a tonal break that has rubbed some employees the wrong way.
Following Ryan’s letter to employees, The Washington Post reported that Insomniac CEO Ted Price sent an email to studio employees last Friday outlining the company’s donations to WRRAP. According to the report, Sony will also match employee donations made through its internal charitable portal and plans to compensate employees who may need to leave the state to obtain abortion services.
But Price’s email also detailed how Sony “would not agree with any statements from any studio on the subject of reproductive rights.” That’s despite Insomniac sending nearly 60 pages of employee letters to PlayStation Studios president Hermen Hulst asking the company to “be better served by employees directly affected” with any pending abortion decision. “We fought hard for this and didn’t win,” Price wrote.
Price went on to talk about the company’s sometimes awkward parent-child relationship that has developed since Sony acquired Insomniac in 2019. “In terms of our freedom of speech, while we have a lot of autonomy that is often taken for granted, there are times when in which we need to acknowledge that we are part of a larger organization,” Price reportedly wrote. “For the most part, our ability to tweet has been unfettered. However, there are rare times when we are in opposition (like this week) and [Sony] Final say.”
wall of silence
The apparent enforced public silence by Insomniac on the issue comes weeks after Bungie became one of the few companies to have spoken out in support of abortion rights. “Standing up for reproductive choice and freedom is not a difficult decision, and Bungie remains dedicated to upholding these values,” the company said.
Activision issued a more impartial statement regarding abortion rights last week, saying the company is “committed to an inclusive environment that supports all of our employees” and that it will “closely monitor developments in the coming weeks and months.” Microsoft also said last week that it would “continue to do everything within its power to protect the rights of our employees and support employees” and pledged to pay for employee travel costs related to out-of-state abortion services.
But even limited public statements like this stand out as exceptions in the video game industry. The Washington Post found that 18 of the 20 “major video game companies” contacted about this issue did not respond to a request for comment.
These companies may receive advice to advise you to stay away from the problem. Popular Information recently published an email from major PR firm Zeno urging companies not to “take a position you cannot reverse” on “topics that divide the country.” On issues such as abortion, Zeno wrote, “No matter what happens [companies] Do, they will alienate at least 15 to 30 percent of stakeholders… Don’t assume all of your employees, clients, or investors share your view. “