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Certain Affinity CEO pledges to aid employees if threatened by abortion laws

The Halo Infinite multiplayer dev will ensure that employees have reasonable access to essential medical care, even with controversy surrounding Roe v. Wade.

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With human rights and medical access taken a critical turn in the United States, several companies, including those in the gaming industry, have moved to take a stance on the matter. For Certain Affinity, which has been helping 343 Industries improve Halo Infinite’s multiplayer, it’s an employee-first stance. The CEO of the studio recently announced that if any of its workers are threatened by restriction to “essential care,” then the company will make reasonable efforts to aid its employees in relocation.

Certain Affinity CEO Max Hoberman posted an open letter on his Twitter regarding the matter of Roe v. Wade and the studio’s efforts to aid employees that may be affected by the law being overturned by the US Supreme Court. According to the letter, Certain Affinity will work with employees to help them relocate if local laws restricting access to medical care make life untenable in their current location.

Max Hoberman shared the above letter committing to aiding employees who may be affected by local laws restricting access to essential medical care with the overturning of Roe v. Wade looming.
Max Hoberman shared the above letter committing to aiding employees who may be affected by local laws restricting access to essential medical care with the overturning of Roe v. Wade looming.

The full letter, as posted by Hoberman, is as follows:

Dear CA Employees,

It is appalling that states, including the CA headquarters’ home state of Texas, are wading into what I consider personal health and privacy matters. Recently this encompassed gross intrusions on the rights of transgender youth, putting politics over the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of a vulnerable population, and threatening their families, friends, doctors, and other supporters.

As the recent draft of the US Supreme Court opinion potentially overturning Roe v. Wade has shown, the rights of women to make critical decisions about their health and wellbeing – including access to vital birth control medication and abortion – and protections for the privacy of those decisions, are also under attack. Measures are already teed up in several states that will severely punish family, friends, doctors, and other supporters who come to their aid. This is all incredibly concerning on a personal level, and also as a business owner and leader; naked politicization of private health matters is hurting our business in tangible ways, including our ability to recruit staff.

We have yet to formulate specific policies relating to our companies handling of these matters. These are tricky areas to navigate, as state governments may at some point decide that, by supporting vulnerable employees in their time of need, we fall on the wrong side of the law. As appalling and distressing as this is, it’s a reality and a risk that we must carefully navigate.

However, as a demonstration of our company values, today I am making this commitment to you: If the state or province that you live in restricts access to what a majority of medical experts consider essential are, and this makes remaining there untenable for you and your family, we will cover the pre-approved, documented, and reasonable out-of-pocket costs of your relocation to another, safer state or province that we operate in.

If this affects you, please know that you can bring questions or concerns to any member of our HR team. They will listen with compassion and maintain the utmost confidentiality on the matter, only sharing with other members of the extended HR team and with expert consultants if needed.

We’ll get through this together. Thank you for your continued trust and support.

Max


Certain Affinity has been working in development for quite a few years, aiding a number of studios on major projects, including much of the Halo series. It is now working alongside 343 Industries to improve Halo Infinite’s multiplayer.

That said, it sounds as though Certain Affinity is also ready to take on the task of aiding its employees through choppy seas as Roe v. Wade’s possible overturning looms. It runs in contrast to groups like PlayStation, where CEO Jim Ryan has effectively put a gag on employees and studios even addressing the matter openly. As this topic continues to remain heated, it will be interesting to see if further publishers and studios share where they lie on the matter. At the very least, it looks like Certain Affinity is prepared to put its employees first no matter what.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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