Following recent reports that Sony refuses to endorse any statements from PlayStation Studios regarding reproductive rights, Bungie – whose acquired by Sony was announced in February – said “there will never be a ‘muzzle’ big enough to keep us from standing up for what is right”.
Bungie was one of the first studios to show your support for Roe v Wade, a landmark judgment that legalized abortion in the United States, following recent reports that the United States Supreme Court was trying to overturn the decision. At the time, the developer called the move a “direct attack on human rights,” adding that “standing up for reproductive choice and freedom is not a difficult decision to make, and Bungie remains committed to defending these values”.
However, in light of reports that Sony is refusing to allow any public statements its PlayStation studios might want to make around the issue of reproductive rights, some Bungie fans wondered if the developer would still be able to express its opinion as freely once its acquisition by Sony is complete.
Responding to such a tweetBungie Community Manager dmg04 wrote“I confess I’m just a CM in the grand scheme, but I have confidence in the following: We are, and will continue to be, Bungie. There will never be a ‘muzzle’ big enough to keep us from standing up for what is right.”
“This will have to be proven over time,” added dmg04, “but we continue to strengthen our pillars and our culture year after year. There is still a lot of work to do, but I think we are on the right track. way with the talent we have and the passion they bring (not just making games, but improving the industry.)”
Bungie CEO Pete Parsons then chimed in to support dmg04’s sentiment, retweeting the thread and adding his own affirmative stamp with a simple “Yes”.
The news that Sony was refusing to endorse copyright claims from one of its PlayStation studios was the first reported by the Washington Postciting an email Insomniac chief Ted Price sent to employees explaining why the studio was unable to make a public statement in support of Roe v Wade – as Bungie and PDeveloper Sychonauts 2 Double Fine had done so before – despite requests from staff. Price even added that he thinks there will be “material repercussions” if the studio goes against Sony’s wishes.
Price also responded to a question from an Insomnaic employee asking if Sony’s acquisition of the studio now has an impact on his values. “When it comes to our freedom of speech,” he wrote, “while we have a LOT of autonomy that is often taken for granted, there are times when we need to recognize that we are part of a larger organization. For the most part some of our ability to tweet has not been hampered. However, there are rare times when we are in opposition (like this week) and SIE will have the final say.
Prior to the Washington Post report, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan had attracted a lot of criticism when, after referring to the US Supreme Court’s proposal to overturn Row v Wade in an email to all staff, employees were told: ‘We owe each other and to the millions of PlayStation users to respect the differences of opinion between everyone in our internal and external communities.” Ryan then reportedly wrote at length about his cats’ birthdays, leading some employees to accuse the PlayStation boss of being disrespectful and to trivialize the issue of reproductive rights in messages seen by Bloomberg.