The United States’ recent Roe v. Wade reevaluation has caused an upheaval, to say the least. Not many video game studios have spoken up for reproductive rights in the wake of the news, but Bungie has — and pledges to continue to do so.
Sticking to a pro-choice stance is particularly important in this case because of studio acquisitions. Bungie issued a statement supporting the upholding of Roe v. Wade, making its stance very clear. A little over a week later, Jim Ryan reportedly told PlayStation employees to “respect differences of opinion” on the topic of abortion. Ryan took heat for the report of course, but it’s the meeting of these two companies that prompted some Bungie employees to speak up again. Sony is set to acquire Bungie for $3.6 billion, prompting a concern that it might be hushed due to Sony’s middle-of-the-road stance.
Bungie senior community manager Dylan Gafner addressed this on Twitter, standing by the studio and its outspokenness. “We are, and will continue to be, Bungie,” Gafner proclaimed. “There will never be a ‘muzzle’ big enough to stop us from standing up for what’s right.” Gafner is saying that Bungie will not be silent in regards to reproductive rights issues, Sony ownership or not. Bungie CEO Pete Parsons replied to Gafner’s tweet with a simple “yes,” reaffirming the company’s stance at the highest level.
At this point, the PlayStation-Bungie buyout still seems set to go. The FTC will review the acquisition before it’s finalized, though that’s more of a formality than anything else. There’s no talk of the commission actually blocking the deal. PlayStation ought to be happy about that, seeing as Bungie is a core component of Sony’s multiplatform plans.
Meanwhile, some of Sony’s existing studios are also standing up for Roe v. Wade. Ratchet & Clank developer Insomniac will donate $50,000 for reproductive rights, but Sony is keeping that quiet and not publicly announcing the charitable move.