Three game studios in North Carolina have come out against North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill,” a law seen by many as infringing on the rights of transgender individuals.
The law, formally titled House Bill 2, bans individuals from entering a gendered bathroom different from what’s listed on their birth certificate, supposedly due to the need to protect kids. The law has been slammed by everyone from Hilary Clinton to Donald Trump and spurred a massive backlash from major businesses, including PayPal, which cancelled plans for an operations center in the state, which could have employed up to 400 people.
The Department of Justice is suing North Carolina over the law, saying it is a violation of civil rights. The state’s Governor Pat McCrory is suing back.
As for the many game developers in the state, North Carolina’s most famous game developer, Gears of War lead creator Cliff Bleszinski, tagged McCrory in a tweet this past weekend. As is usually the case with Bleszinski, it was blunt.
The screen shot shows a gender neutral bathroom in Lawbreakers, an upcoming competitive shooter coming from his new studio, Boss Key.
“I love having a game studio in this state that’s frequently embarrassing itself bc of him [McCrory],” said Bleszinski in another tweet.
When a Twitter user responded by saying Bleszinski’s stance would prompt him to avoid buying Lawbreakers, Bleszinski was undeterred. “Another knob whose money I don’t want,” he said. “Next?”
Ratchet & Clank developer Insomniac Games, primarily based in Los Angeles but with a satellite studio in North Carolina, also slammed the law.
“Insomniac Games passionately believes in celebrating diversity and defending non-discrimination,” the company said in a statement. “We therefore strongly condemn HB2. Our studio policy has been and will continue to be that employees may use whichever restroom matches their gender identity.”
Funcom, the MMO developer behind The Secret World, joined them.
“This has been discussed internally in both our Oslo and North Carolina offices,” said Funcom North Carolina studio head Scott Junior, “and quite frankly, we all think the legislation is absolutely ridiculous.”
Epic Games declined to comment. Ubisoft, whose Red Storm studio is based in North Carolina did not respond to requests for comment.
Update 3:51 pm: This story originally suggested Psyonix, the developers of Rocket League, were located in North Carolina. This was previously true, but the studio moved several years ago. Sorry about that.