Human Rights

Bungie is currently the only video game company standing up for Roe v. Wade

I’m shocked! Well, not that shocked.

Originally Published: 

We planned to run a story today rounding up all the video game companies voicing their support of abortion rights in wake of the leaked Supreme Court documents about overturning Roe v. Wade. Since the news broke late on the night of May 2, we thought we’d wait a day to see which companies show up to protect reproductive rights. It turned out that no one came out to the party — except for Bungie, the developers of popular MMO Destiny 2.

Bungie’s full-throated support on this issue is great! But at the same time, the conspicuous silence on the part of other developers and publishers is massively disappointing. On May 3, the studio posted a blog supporting the right to choose, calling the possible decision to overturn Roe v. Wade a “direct attack on human rights.”

“At Bungie we believe that everyone has a right to choose their own path and that freedom is expressed across all facets of life,” read the post. “The leaked draft decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade represents a blow to freedom in America.”

The company highlighted that the decision would create a divide between “those who possess the fundamental right to make healthcare decisions that are right for them” and “those who do not possess that same freedom.” The post asserts that those relying on services supported by Roe v. Wade would suffer “far-reaching consequences that will be felt for generations across socio-economic lines.”

Roe v. Wade is the ruling that defines the right to abortion as a constitutional one. If it were to be overturned, dozens of states will quickly enact “trigger laws” to make abortion illegal or extremely difficult to obtain, with potential criminal penalties for patients and doctors.

“Standing up for reproductive choice and liberty is not a difficult decision to make, and Bungie remains dedicated to upholding these values,” the company said in the blog’s accompanying tweet.

Bungie also shared links to several organizations that support rights to healthcare, for those interested in making a donation:

These organizations will continue to support contraceptive and reproductive procedures, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. They will be fundamental to supporting those affected along with many other organizations supporting reproductive choice.

It’s easy to write these kinds of social media solidarity statements off as publicity stunts or virtue signaling, but the past couple days have been very revealing about companies’ reticence to talk about the right to choose. Right now, Bungie’s the only one fielding the punches — and you’ve got to feel for the community managers dealing with these belligerent comments.

Instead of backing down, Bungie held its ground as commenters argued to keep politics out of its social feed.

“We’ve chosen our side and it wasn’t difficult. Our company values exist beyond our games,” Bungie replied to one dissenter.

It’s hard to say I’m shocked. The games industry can often seem like a conference room of apes, spinning a carnival wheel to decide how they’ll disappoint marginalized groups today. The last few years have seen a never-ending cascade of scandals involving workplace toxicity and sexual harassment. But it’s still deeply disappointing to see these companies keep quiet when many of them gladly supported Ukraine in the war against Russia. Many of them, like Sony and Microsoft, also took a stand for the Black Lives Matter movement last year. However, when it comes to bodily autonomy, the room is all too silent.

For the record, Bungie frequently supports causes that help POC, LGBTQA+, and disabled gamers. If it’s a corporate ploy, it’s an impressively consistent one.

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