Just over a month after Sony reportedly blocked its studios from issuing public statements on abortion, multiple companies within PlayStation Studios have shared pro-choice sentiments following the turnover of Roe v. Wade by the US Supreme Court.
Insomniac (opens in new tab) was the first PlayStation studio to release a statement on Twitter, simply noting that "reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights." Bend Studio (opens in new tab), Media Molecule (opens in new tab), Sucker Punch (opens in new tab), and Guerrilla (opens in new tab) were right behind it with identical verbiage, and Naughty Dog (opens in new tab) released a longer but tonally similar statement shortly after.
Branch studios like Sony San Diego (opens in new tab) and God of War studio Sony Santa Monica (opens in new tab) also shared strikingly similar messages, which would suggest that at least the base wording was shared across PlayStation and potentially Sony as a whole. Even PlayStation London (opens in new tab) – you guessed it, not a US-based branch – mirrored the statement, which supports the theory that it was cleared internally.
Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann also posted a receipt – which was shared by the studio's main Twitter account – for a $10,000 donation to NARAL Pro-Choice America, thanking PlayStation for matching 50% of it to the tune of $5,000.
I support NARAL in access to reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. If you have the means, please join me in volunteering or donating. And thank you to PlayStation for the generous match. https://t.co/QLEZiobOFw pic.twitter.com/KJT3EmpmAOJune 24, 2022
This echoes the circumstances of a previous donation from Insomniac Games, which sent $50,000 to abortion nonprofit WRRAP following the previously leaked Supreme Court opinion which predicted today's decision.
At the time, The Washington Post (opens in new tab) reported that Sony had agreed to match Insomniac's donation and was also moving on infrastructure for a company support system that would cover travel expenses for people seeking healthcare. According to internal memos, Sony has now reportedly doubled down on this coverage.
The messaging across PlayStation's studios is especially noteworthy given Sony's alleged response to the aforementioned leaked opinion. Despite matching Insomniac's donation behind the scenes, Sony reportedly blocked it and other PlayStation studios from releasing public statements on abortion, with a leaked email from PlayStation president Jim Ryan calling for employees to "respect differences of opinion" on the subject. Coupled with more matched donations, today's unified public statements suggest Sony and/or PlayStation have changed their tune.
Bungie, soon to be acquired by Sony for some $3.6 billion, will technically remain independent from PlayStation Studios but has also issued a pledge of its own to support employees and their family members should they need to travel in pursuit of care as states restrict or remove abortion access.