Bethesda is having gods internal problems due to the growing tensions due to the issue abortion. According to some employees, the company’s stance was not enough and they would like it to better support female workers’ access to reproductive health care. All this obviously following the overturning of the Roe v. Wade operated by the US Supreme Court.
This is a particularly pressing issue for many of the developers of Starfield and Redfall, who live in states like Texas, where rulers are about to pass very strict anti-abortion laws. The tension escalated with the outbreak of a strong debate in the channels Slack of the company, where the executives failed to satisfactorily clarify all open issues.
Of course, being a company made up of hundreds of people, there is also a faction that applauds the Supreme Court’s decision. The clash is therefore inevitable, since it is such a sensitive issue. One message in particular, which Kotaku had the opportunity to read, sparked fierce controversy: “I am dismayed by the constant demands for having the right to kill one’s relatives. The overturning of Roe v. Wade does not violate human rights, but restores them for those who cannot speak for themselves.“The message also includes eleven quotes from the Bible.
A Bethesda executive closed the message and asked to keep politics and religion out of the “water cooler” channel, but the incident left its mark, also because it came after many women of the company expressed their insecurity in the face of management’s reluctance to take a firm stand on reproductive rights.
Many studios of the Zenimax group, now Xbox Game Studios, are based in Texas: Bethesda Austin (Starfield), Arkane Austin (Redfall) and id Software. Naturally, the employees fear the arrival of the law that will ban all forms of abortion from the moment of conception, scheduled for this summer.
Microsoft, which owns Bethesda, has already announced that it will provide financial support for travel expenses to employees who are going to have an abortion in other states. The problem is that Microsoft and Zenimax will manage the benefits completely autonomously, i.e. the policies of the Redmond house will not apply to the Zenimax studios.
Maintaining this autonomy is one of the reasons why some developers have left Zenimax studios. Their hope was to end up under the Microsoft umbrella.
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