Hello and welcome to Get Your Game On. My name is Maddi and last week sure was… awful… as the U.S. government continued its assault on people’s rights to bodily autonomy. I think this is as bad to read as it is to type, so I hope you understand and forgive me for keeping this week rather short.

Game Studios Publicize Support for Abortion Rights

On June 24, the United States Supreme Court’s conservative majority released its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which we all knew was coming thanks to a leak of the decision in May, but hoped wasn’t real. The Court found that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a person’s right to abortion, effectively overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision as well as the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision. The new decision allows states discretion in regulating abortion, and nearly half have prepared legislation to criminalize abortion or severely limit the situations in which someone can seek an abortion. In many red states, accessing abortion at a clinic was already incredibly difficult, especially for poor people, but the new ruling explicitly allows states to value the life of a fetus over the well-being of the person carrying it, erases bodily autonomy, and has additional, horrifying privacy implications. It also opened the door for further attacks on bodily autonomy, including a person’s right to contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.

In response, a number of game studios announced their support for their employees’ right to this necessary healthcare. Bungie, Humble Bundle, and Microsoft committed to offering employees travel benefits and other assistance to employees who are unable to receive care in their home states, while Ubisoft and Electronic Arts stated they would review their benefits to ensure employees can access healthcare. Several other studios, including Naughty Dog and InnerSloth, have made donations in support of abortion care.

Bobby Kotick Re-Elected to Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors

I regret to inform you that Bobby Kotick still has a job on Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors. This comes after the Board announced external advisors found no evidence of “widespread harassment, pattern or practice of harassment, or systemic harassment at Activision Blizzard or any of its business units.” I know it’s been a long three months, but in case you forgot: an actual court found otherwise back in March.

In other news…

Speaking of Activision Blizzard, the company announced Overwatch 2 will replace Overwatch when the long-awaited sequel launches in October in order to maintain a singular player base. Players will be able to transfer currency and enjoy legacy content, but the original Overwatch will no longer be playable.

Tony Hawk himself said on a livestream that plans to remaster Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 and 4 were shelved after Activision Blizzard absorbed Vicarious Visions. There are currently no plans to remaster the games, despite Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 receiving a favorable reception and one million sales within two weeks of its release in 2020.

If you haven’t heard, the cryptocurrency economy is so bad that people are selling the GPUs they hoarded in order to mine their fake digital money. Despite that, Square Enix has bravely announced plans to soldier on in their exploration of story-focused NFTs. Whatever that means.

Mojang, the developer behind Minecraft, has changed how bans work so that banned players will be blocked from all forms of online play, as opposed to a single server.

In a tweet, Eric Barone (better known by the developer name ConcernedApe) confirmed/announced an upcoming 1.6 update to Stardew Valley that will “make modders [sic] lives easier.” No date for the update was announced.

Former Sega of America president Bernie Stolar, who helped launch the Sega Dreamcast, has passed away. He was 75.

If you need a break from relentlessly bleak news cycles, the Steam Summer Sale is ongoing until July 7. One of my other favorite summer events, Summer Games Done Quick, is also ongoing this week, with events scheduled until July 3.