In an email viewed by Bloomberg last week, PlayStation president Jim Ryan wrote to employees asking them to “respect differences of opinion” regarding abortion rights before detailing his two cats’ recent birthday parties. Now, PlayStation and Sony subsidiary Insomniac are donating $50,000 each to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project.
Prompting the email from Sony was the recently-leaked Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Ryan’s email said that “we owe it to each other and to PlayStation’s millions of users to respect differences of opinion among everyone in our internal and external communities.” He then introduced a more “lighthearted” topic and spoke about his two cats’ first birthdays. He even went into detail about the noises his cat makes, their birthday cakes, and his hopes to one day have a dog.
In an email seen by the Washington Post, Insomniac, which published beloved games such as Ratchet and Clank, plans to donate $50,000 to the WRRAP, and Sony will match the donation. Insomniac will also collect donations from individual employees through the “PlayStation Cares” program.
In addition to the donations, Sony and Insomniac plan to work together to create an initiative to provide some financial assistance to employees who need to travel outside of their state of residence in order to obtain reproductive care.
Insomniac, according to CEO Ted Price, is not allowed to publicly post about the donation. Price said in an email that going over Sony’s head and tweeting about the donation would create “material repercussions for [Insomniac] as a wholly owned subsidiary.” If Insomniac did comment on the donation, Price also said he feared “any progress that we might make in helping change [Sony Interactive Entertainment’s] approach would be stopped dead in its tracks.”
The reaction to the news on social media has been mixed, with some people holding the opinion that politics should be kept out of games, while others, including employees of Insomniac, have urged the company to say something about it.