Texas Game Studio will help employees flee anti-trans and anti-abortion laws

A sign reads "certain affinity" with a flame logo.

Photo: certain affinity

As large parts of the United States grow increasingly hostile to trans people and abortion rights, a Texas game studio CEO promises to help employees who want to leave the state if it does. was to arrive (h / t GamesIndustry.biz).

“As a demonstration of our company values, I pledge to you today,” wrote Max Hoberman, CEO of Certain Affinity. a letter to its employees. “If the state or province you live in restricts access to what a majority of medical experts consider essential care, and this makes your stay untenable for you and your family, we will cover pre-care. -approved, documented and reasonable. pocket the costs of your relocation to another safer state or province in which we operate.

Hoberman founded Certain Affinity nearly 16 years ago after leaving his position at Bungie as a Halo multiplayer and online series. Since then, the company has provided support on games like Infinite Halo, Loss (2016), and left for dead and has grown to over 250 employees, many of whom operate from Certain Affinity’s main offices in Austin. The studio also has an office in Toronto, Ontario, as well as employees who work remotely.

Texas is undoubtedly one of the worst places to be transgender in the United States. the sheer width of its historic bigotry is hard to put into one breath, but some examples include the February 2022 legal opinion by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that gender-affirming care for trans youth should be considered child abuse under state law and subsequent instructions from Governor Greg Abbott ask state agencies to investigate parents of trans children.

Similarly, the recent leak of a Supreme Court document detailing the plans of its conservative justices to overturn the historic 1973 decision on federal reproductive rights Roe vs. Wade and deferring that decision-making to individual states, further antagonizing Texans who (correctly) believe that abortions are a medical necessity. The state government, after slowly reducing abortion rights for years, passed a “trigger law” in 2021 that prohibit the procedure after 30 days if and when Roe vs. Wade is overturned.

In both cases, those who help those affected by these discriminatory policies to leave dangerous states may possibly be found criminally responsiblesomething Hoberman also addressed in his company-wide letter.

“Measures are already in place in several states that will similarly punish family, friends, doctors and other supporters who come to their aid,” Hoberman wrote. “All of this is extremely concerning on a personal level, as well as as a business owner and manager; the naked politicization of private health issues hurts our business in tangible ways, including our ability to recruit staff.

While game companies publish statements in favor of the right to abortion That’s all well and good, that’s the kind of movement I like to see from employers in this industry. We need actions rather than thoughts and prayers, and I’m glad companies like Certain Affinity and Insomniac are put their money where their mouths are. It’s more than awful that we’ve come to this, with already beleaguered Americans unable to rely on a supposedly liberal government to protect them, but at least private citizens are doing what little they can to help.

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