Games industry speaks out against Roe v Wade decision

Games industry speaks out against Roe v Wade decision

Developers and publishers from around the industry have spoken out about the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

The ruling was published on Friday, June 24th, overturning the 1973 decision that protected a woman's right to an abortion. It has been met with outcry, not least due to the current composition of the Supreme Court.

Games companies have criticised the decision, with many promising to ensure their employees have access to what is deemed essential healthcare.

"Last month, we stated without reservation that all of us deserve to choose our own path and access the healthcare we need," Destiny maker Bungie wrote, adding to a post it made in May when a leaked decision was released. "The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade cuts off millions of Americans from that access and leaves open the possibility of even further restrictions on life-saving healthcare for all of us.

"Bungie is committed to ensuring that every one of our employees and their families have safe and affordable access to essential healthcare needs. As we continue to expand our digital-first workplace to more states, we will now be implementing a travel reimbursement program for any employee to use when they or a dependent cannot get access to the healthcare they need where they live.

"We remain undeterred in our commitment to stand up for reproductive choice and liberty."

Microsoft wrote in a statement to "Microsoft will continue to do everything we can under the law to support our employees and their enrolled dependents in accessing critical healthcare - which already includes services like abortion and gender-affirming care - regardless of where they live across the US,"

"This support has been extended to include travel expense assistance for these and other lawful medical services where access to care is limited in availability in an employee's home geographic region."

A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard added: "Maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all is a top priority for Activision Blizzard and includes supporting the physical and mental well-being of everyone who works here, including their dependents. Earlier in June, we announced our expanded medical travel benefits to include coverage for US employees and their dependents who participate in our medical plans and live in areas where access to medical care, including reproductive health, gender-affirming treatment, transplant care, and any other medical care covered by our plans that is not available in a covered person's state, or within 100 miles of where they live."

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) released a statement saying that it found the decision concerning.

"We believe bodily autonomy and choice over one's own reproductive and healthcare matters are pertinent to achieving this mission," the organisation wrote.

"One must be in control of their own health matters in order to successfully manage their career and life."

The IGDA continued: "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."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.