Insomniac Games, which is an element of Sony PlayStation Studios, intends to donate $50,000 to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), according to an internal email dispatched on May 13th by its CEO Ted Price.
Sony itself plans to compare the donation for a total of $100,000, and employees of Insomniac can make donations through Sony’s PlayStation Cares program.
Additionally, The Washington Post reports that Sony is working on plans to provide financial assistance to employees who may have to travel to other states to receive abortions and other reproductive care.
There’s a significant wrinkle to this news, though. Neither Insomniac Games nor Sony intends to publicize its donations, likely to avoid publicly seeming like they’re publicly taking a stance. The Post writes that “Insomniac employees have been banned from explicitly mentioning Insomniac or Sony should they choose to retweet any announcements the WRRAP might make.”
These donations come a week after PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan sent an infuriatingly tone-deaf email to staff in response to the recent news that the Roe v. Wade case may be overturned. In the email, he stated that employees should “respect differences of opinion” and then proceeded to talk about his cats’ birthdays and why he enjoys dogs. Understandably, for employees who wanted the company to take a pro-choice stance (as the soon-to-be-Sony-owned Bungie did), this email did the opposite of assuring during an incredibly turbulent time.
While the news of the gift is good, the large amount of red tape being wound around reproductive rights isn’t sitting well with some employees. Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price wrote in an email to staff that Sony “will not approve ANY statements from any studio on reproductive rights. We fought hard for this, and we did not win.”
When asked what would happen if Insomniac employees chose to tweet about its donation, Price wrote that “There would be material repercussions for us as a wholly owned subsidiary” and that the company would “probably be severely restricted from doing important public-facing work in the future.”
For your info, Insomniac Games, Inc. is an American video game developer founded in Burbank, California. It was established in 1994 by Ted Price as Xtreme Software and was re-termed Insomniac Games a summer later. The company is most known for creating several early PlayStation mascots, Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet, Clank, Resistance franchise, 2014’s Sunset Overdrive, and Marvel’s Spider-Man series with Marvel Games. In 2019, the studio was developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment, becoming a part of SIE Worldwide Studios (now understood as PlayStation Studios).