Image via EA
Electronic Arts (EA) announced yesterday that it was making five of its accessibility patents free for absolutely anyone to use, including its competitors, without facing any legal risk.
This includes the ping system from Apex Legends, which has been consistently praised for making in-game communication a better experience for users, especially players with disabilities. It allows players to “transmit contextually aware audio and visual communications generated via mappable controller inputs.”
Three other patents are to do with vision accessibility, and include enhanced image processing to cater to color blindness, or other modifications to improve object visibility.
The last aims to assist players with auditory disabilities, although this hasn’t been utilized in any EA title yet.
It’s called the Patents Pledge by the company, which states that it hopes “every developer in the industry will be able to use our accessibility-centered technology patents.” Through this commitment, EA hopes to “break down barriers” for all players, creating an environment of inclusivity.
That’s not all: EA is also making open-source code for visual accessibility available on GitHub. This will help with colorblindness, brightness, and contrast.
The company writes in the news release that it’s promising it won’t “enforce against any party for infringing any of the listed EA patents.” It also hints that more patents may be added to this list, striving towards a more inclusive future for the gaming community.
We 👀 you, gamers.
We’re opening up 5 of our accessibility-related patents to other developers to encourage them to build new features that make video games more inclusive. https://t.co/4YrGQoAdRP pic.twitter.com/g6V35jx6QV
— Electronic Arts (@EA) August 24, 2021