EA has unveiled a pledge to make some of its accessibility-related patents royalty free for every developer in the industry. It means that other studios will be able to implement technologies in their games to make them more inclusive.
These patents are related to technologies designed to help players with cognitive issues and disabilities, including those with vision, hearing, and speaking issues.
The list of the patents includes:
- Ping system that helps players communicate through audio and visual commands generated via mappable controller inputs (this technology is now used in Apex Legends);
- Image processing system that improves visibility of colors and modifies them to help people with vision disabilities (it is used in FIFA and Madden NFL);
- Special system for people with colorblindness that detect and update contrast ratios of rendered frames (its source is now published on GitHub);
- Technology for audio customization that generating personalized music based on a player’s hearing information and preferences.
In its pledge, Electronic Arts promised to not sue or enforce against any developer using these patents. “It can help incentivize others to come up with solutions, creating a cycle of innovation that we believe positively impacts our industry,” the company said.
Other AAA companies are now also working on improving accessibility and making video games more inclusive. In February, Microsoft updated guidelines for developers to make playing their titles more comfortable for people with different disabilities.