Bungie boss says Sony acquisition won't 'muzzle' the studio's political opinions

(Image credit: Bungie)

Bungie was one of the first game studios to speak out in support of "essential healthcare rights" for women following the leak of a drafting ruling indicating that the US Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade this summer. Sony, on the other hand, utterly botched an attempt to avoid any controversy, and while it eventually tried to clean up the mess it had made, it did so in the strangest possible fashion by making a relatively minuscule donation to Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project while simultaneously refusing to sanction "ANY statements from any studio on the topic of reproductive rights."

This led some fans to wonder about a potential ideological conflict between the two, and whether Sony—which acquired Bungie for $3.6 billion in January—would "muzzle" the studio in order to avoid making waves with gamers. But that, apparently, is not a concern.

"We are, and will continue to be, Bungie," senior community manager dmg04 tweeted. "There will never be a 'muzzle' big enough to stop us from standing up for what's right.

"It'll need to be proven over time, but we continue to strengthen our pillars and culture year over year. There's so much more work to be done, but I feel we're on the right track with the talent we have and the passion they bring (not just making games, but improving industry.)"

Dmg04 admitted that he's "just a CM in the grand scheme," and so clearly he's not in a position to set policy for Bungie. But his statement was affirmed by Pete Parsons, the CEO of Bungie and thus a guy who is in position to make those calls: Parsons retweeted dmg04's brief thread and then replied simply, "Yes."

Bungie has its own issues to deal with: An in-depth IGN report revealed allegations of sexism and toxicity at the studio, for which Parsons apologized in late 2021. But it's also been outspoken in support of highly visible political issues including trans rights, Black Lives Matter, and opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It remains to be seen how far Sony will go with its promise to enable Bungie to operate as "an independent subsidiary" following the acquisition, but for now I'm glad to see the studio staking out its position early and forcefully.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.