Skip to main content

EA opens all of its accessibility patents, including Apex Legends’ ping system

EA announced a new Patents Pledge program, which will give competitors and developers free access to its accessibility-related patents and technology. The company is hoping to push other studios to incorporate accessibility features into their games and make them more inclusive for players everywhere.

This is a huge industry-first and a milestone for the video game industry at large. The technology being shared spans aa multitude of games and disabilities.

Apex Legends "Ping System" being used to alert players of Heavy Ammo.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The open patents include Apex Legends‘ “Ping System,” which gives players with speaking, hearing, and cognitive disabilities help with communicating with in-game allies. This is done through simple and mappable control inputs that allow these players to alert their partners of danger and various items found throughout the game.

The program includes settings widely used in games including Madden and FIFA, including features that detect and modify colors, brightness, and contrast in a game. This can improve the visibility for players with visual disabilities, such as deuteranopia.

A personalized sound technology that helps players with auditory issues is also being shared. This tech modifies and/or creates music based on their preferences.

“We hope developers will make the most of these patents and encourage those who have the resources, innovation, and creativity to do as we have by making their own pledges that put accessibility first.” said Chris Bruzzo, EA’s executive vice president of Positive Play, Commercial and Marketing. “We welcome collaboration with others on how we move the industry forward together.”

Technology innovation like this and hardware like the popular Xbox Adaptive Controller will hopefully push the industry forward, making the gaming market more inclusive than ever.

Editors' Recommendations

DeAngelo Epps
Former Digital Trends Contributor
De'Angelo Epps is a gaming writer passionate about the culture, communities, and industry surrounding gaming. His work ranges…
Star Wars and live-service games keep EA strong despite Anthem’s flop
Star-Wars-Jedi-Fallen-Order

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — Hone Your Powers

Electronic Arts continued to generate strong profits over 2019, with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order selling well above the company's expectations and its live-service games generating impressive revenue. The success comes in spite of the early-year failure of Anthem, which was quickly discounted after receiving middling review scores and reports of the game being massively overhauled.

Read more
EA Play 2019: All the big news, from FIFA 20 to Battlefield V to Star Wars

This year, EA chose not to hold a traditional press conference, and instead held its EA Play event on June 8-9, just ahead of the E3 2019 festivities. In lieu of the press conference, the publisher featured interviews and gameplay demonstrations focused on six of the company's games. There weren't any big surprises, but we did get plenty of new information. Here's all the big news.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Official Gameplay Demo – EA PLAY 2019

Respawn Entertainment showed off 15 minutes of gameplay for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at the beginning of EA Play 2019. Set on the Wookie planet Kashyyyk, the mission we saw had protagonist Cal on a mission to liberate the area from the grips of the Empire. Early in the gameplay demonstration, we saw the traversal tools he will use, which include wall-running and grappling like in Uncharted or Tomb Raider. We were also surprised to see Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera make a return to assist Cal in his mission.

Read more
All GTA Vice City cheats: PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC
Grand Theft Auto City's main character stands in front of a neon sign.

The past has never looked so good. That applies not only to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City -- Definitive Edition itself, but also the 1980s-inspired style of the titular city. This entry was a blast from the past when it was first released, and it's downright retro today. Thanks to the face-lift this remastering has provided, it has never been easier to go back and relive the story of Tommy Vercetti and his quest for revenge in this visually overwhelming take on an exaggerated version of a crime-infested '80s city.

As much love as this entry received when it came out for its story and characters -- it's still often considered one of the best games released on that entire generation of consoles -- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City pushed open-world games in a whole new direction. In keeping with series tradition, which continues to be the case, this title was jam-packed with cheats that can completely change how the game is played. This game has far more than any other in the recently released trilogy, making it ripe for revisiting to see what crazy antics you can cause. There are even a few new ones not included in the original, so even die-hard fans will want to see our full list of all the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City -- Definitive Edition cheat codes.

Read more