EA is sharing all of its accessibility patents with competitors so that other developers can incorporate them into their titles.
The need for better accessibility in gaming are some things that tons of developers have come to understand. Now, EA steps up to the plate with its new Patents Pledge initiative, giving its competitors direct access to its accessibility patents.
It is encouraging other developers to hitch the program, too.
Introducing EA’s Patents Pledge Initiative
An announcement at EA.com confirms that EA has launched a replacement program—Patents Pledge—which essentially makes all of EA’s accessibility patents hospitable to its competitors. Competing devs can then incorporate these accessibility tools into their games and applications without the fear of legal retribution from EA.
Not only that, but EA has also invited other developers to feature their accessibility patents to the pool for everybody else to use, too. This is often an industry-changing step by EA, which, if successful, will see the floodgates open for better accessibility in games.
The Pledge, linked above, states:
At EA, we believe that it’s imperative to satisfy the requirements of diverse populations in gaming and beyond. This includes, importantly, the requirements of those with disabilities. Therefore, through our patent pledge, we’re committing that each developer within the industry will be ready to use our accessibility-centred technology patents—royalty-free.
So, this is often good news for gamers with additional accessibility requirements. Hopefully, more developers will join the scheme.
What Accessibility Patents Are EA Sharing?
EA has kindly listed the available patents on the Pledge page linked above.
We have Apex Legends‘ Ping System, which allows those living with hearing, speaking, or cognitive accessibility requirements to speak with other team members in-game via control inputs that trigger certain commands or messages in Apex.
There also are patents that appear during a wide selection of immeasurably popular titles, like the FIFA franchise, which assist those living with sight issues. These patents alter settings in game-like contrast and brightness.
Finally, a patent permits the generation of music suited to the hearing needs of a gamer playing titles with the feature.
Why Has EA Announced This Patents Pledge?
At the top of the day, it’s all about making games accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities outside of gaming. EA itself says:
This Pledge covers many of our most innovative technologies designed to interrupt barriers for players living with disabilities or medical issues. This includes those with vision, hearing, speaking or cognitive issues.
EA wants everyone to enjoy its games and recognizes that this becomes the case only by sharing information between competing brands.
A Positive Step From EA
This is a landmark decision by EA which will undoubtedly improve accessibility in gaming. Hopefully, we’ll see other major players like Microsoft and Sony joining the Patents Pledge, too. This way, gaming are going to be available to everybody.