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.
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.
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