Electronic Arts want improve accessibility in the video games: a commitment that the company reaffirmed in view of the International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3, announcing that it has filed another six patents as part of its project.
“First opened in August 2021, our pledge provides competitors and developers with free access to patents and technologies related to accessibilityas part of EA’s ongoing drive for positive gaming and to reduce or eliminate as many barriers to entry in video games as possible,” the press release reads.
“This year’s additions to the patent make it easier for more gamers to engage with a video game or device. The patent includes a machine learning system to improve a gamer’s experience and performance by automatically recommending and applying (if approved by the player) controller configuration settings based on the player’s specific play style, skills and tendencies. This technology will enable disabled players to discover the accessibility settings that best suit their needs.”
“Also included are technologies that use haptic feedback sequences (vibration cues) to tell the player both what content is displayed on a screen, such as menu options or in-game characters, and how to select each item. The engagement is also about technologies that make it easier for players to use their voice to interact with video games, easily authenticating voice-controlled devices and controlling video game characters.”
“Another patent concerns technology already used in FIFA Mobile, which provides players with a virtual joystick that moves according to the position of the player’s thumb on a touchscreen. This allows you to continue using the control pad even if your fingers move away from the starting position, for example in the event that a player suffers from a condition that affects his motor skills.”
“The sixth patent concerns the color blindness patents promised last year and is a diagnostic system that uses in-game objects to automatically identify a player’s color blindness condition and adjusts the color blindness accessibility settings as needed during sessions of game.”
“In addition to adding more patents, EA is opening Font, a tool that automatically identifies text in video content and determines if it meets specified size and contrast ratio criteria, making it easier to ensure that text can be read by players with different visual conditions. The software code is available here.”
Apex Legends, a combat sequence
“Innovation, creativity and inclusivity are key to us and when we unveiled the Accessibility Patent effort last year, we were delighted by the positive feedback we received, both from the industry and from our players” , said Chris Bruzzo, Chief Experience Officer. “Everyone at EA truly believes that nothing should come between our players and our shared love of gaming, and so we are delighted to be able to continue adding our latest pioneering accessibility solutions.”
“Among the technologies filed for the accessibility patent last year was the famous Ping system from Apex Legends, which allows players to communicate through simple controller inputs. This technology has been recognized for its application to reduce within the game and to make it more accessible.”
“Also included patented technologies that automatically detect and change the colors, brightness and contrast in a game to improve the visibility of objects of similar brightness, allowing players to better perceive and interact with content.”
“The accessibility patent commitment builds on previous initiatives, including the launch of the Electronic Arts Accessibility Portal, where players can learn about the accessibility features of Electronic Arts games, raise concerns, and propose improvements. Electronic Arts has also long worked with charities such as Special Effect in the UK to help break down barriers in video games and the industry at large.”