After recent leaks that suggest the US Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v Wade, we’ve seen studios like Bungie and Double Fine step up to express its support for the right to abortion. This week, Certain Affinity CEO Max Hoberman took it a step further, announcing that the Halo support studio will help with the relocation costs of employees living in states with hostile anti-abortion (and anti-trans) laws.
Post an open letter on Twitter (via GamesIndustry.biz), Hoberman explained that he finds it “frightening” that the state of Texas, where CA is headquartered, is committing “gross intrusions into the rights and dignity of transgender youth,” while condemning attacks on women’s bodily autonomy rights. .
In Texas, this includes bounty hunter laws that allow citizens to sue anyone they suspect not only of having an abortion but also of helping someone else to do so. According to Hoberman, this is already having a tangible effect on running the business, such as the ability to recruit new employees. As such, Certain Affinity will now offer to pay for the relocation of employees who feel that remaining in states under this law is “unsustainable”.
As a business leader, dealing with highly politicized issues such as transgender and abortion rights is exceptionally difficult. But I’m not content to sit around and say or do nothing. Here’s a message I had the pleasure of sharing with the entire @CertainAffinity full-time team today. pic.twitter.com/zTJvaTm9IlMay 18, 2022
“As a demonstration of our company values, I make this commitment to you today,” writes Hoberman. “If the state or province in which you live restricts access to what most medical experts consider essential care, and that makes staying there unsustainable for you and your family, we will cover pre-approved, documented, and reasonable costs. pocket money for your move to another safer state or province in which we operate.”
Certain Affinity currently only has offices in Austin, Texas and Toronto, Ontario, but allows employees to work remotely from several other states and provinces in the US and Canada. Rumor has it that the studio is working on a Halo Battle Royaleand presumably doesn’t want its developers to be too stressed about being legislated out of existence to help put this together.
While this is a fantastic move and one I’d like to see more of from the industry, other studios have struggled to make their support heard. Sony would have tried avoid studios like Insomniac to make statements about the right to abortion.