EA has announced a new Patent Pledge program, which will provide competitors and developers with free access to patents and technologies related to accessibility. it. 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 first major event in the industry and an important milestone for the video game industry as a whole. Shared technology spans a multitude of games and disabilities.
Open patents include Apex LegendsThe ‘Ping System,’ provides players with speech, hearing, and cognitive disabilities to help communicate with allies in the game. This is done through simple and mapable control inputs that allow these players to alert their partners to hazards 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 in-game color, brightness, and contrast. This could improve visibility for players with visual disabilities, such as deuteranopia.
Personalized audio technology that helps players with hearing problems is also being shared. This technology modifies and/or creates music based on their preferences.
“We hope developers will make the most of these patents and encourage those with the resources, innovation and creativity to do as we have by making their own commitment to put accessibility comes first.” Chris Bruzzo, EA’s executive vice president of Positive Play, Commercial and Marketing. “We welcome collaboration with others on how we can move the industry together.”
Technological innovation like this and hardware like the ubiquitous Xbox Adaptive Controller will hopefully propel the industry forward, making the gaming market more inclusive than ever.