Certain Affinity covers the cost of moving to “safer” locations.
Following recent leaks that the US Supreme Court is considering overturning Roe v Wade, studios such as Bungie and Double Fine have stepped up to show their support for abortion rights. This week, Certain Affinity CEO Max Hoberman announced that the studio supporting Halo will support relocation expenses for employees in states hostile to abortion (and anti-trans) laws.
Posting an open letter on Twitter (via GamesIndustry.biz), Hoberman explained that he was “appalled” that the state of Texas, where CA is based, “commits gross interference with the rights and dignity of transgender youth”, while also condemning attacks on women’s rights to bodily autonomy.
In Texas, this includes bounty hunter laws that allow citizens to sue anyone suspected of not only having an abortion, but helping someone get an abortion. Hoberman says this is already having a tangible impact on the operation of the business, such as its ability to recruit new employees. That’s why Certain Affinity will now offer to cover the cost of relocation for employees who feel that staying in a state covered by the law is “untenable”.
“As a demonstration of our corporate values, I am committing to you today,” Hoberman writes. “If the state or province in which you live restricts access to care that the majority of health care professionals consider essential, and that makes it untenable for you and your family to remain there, we will cover the pre-approved, documented, reasonable, out-of-pocket costs of relocating you to another, safer state or province in which we operate.””
Certain Affinity currently has offices only in Austin, Texas and Toronto, Ontario, but allows employees to work remotely from many other states and provinces in the United States and Canada. The studio is currently rumoured to be working on a Halo battle royale, and presumably doesn’t want its developers to be too stressed out about legal regulations to help put it together.
While this is a very fantastic move and I’d love to see more from the industry, other studios have had a hard time making their support heard. Sony has reportedly tried to prevent studios like Insomniac from speaking out on abortion rights.