EA Makes Major Push for Accessibility in Gaming, Open Sources Mirror’s Edge and EA Sports FC Tech
Electronic Arts (EA) is making an unprecedented commitment to increasing accessibility in gaming. EA has announced that they are open-sourcing technologies used in the Mirror’s Edge and EA Sports FC game franchises, enabling developers to build accessible versions of the games. This move is part of EA’s larger initiative to make gaming more accessible to people with disabilities.
EA Senior Vice President, Patrick Söderlund, stated in a blog post that EA’s goal with open sourcing game tech is to “make it easy for anyone to adopt the same techniques”:
“The games we develop have the potential to be enjoyed by millions of people around the world. But, too often, people with disabilities are unable to play those games. We strongly believe games should be for everyone, and open sourcing technologies is one way of making that happen.”
The open sourced technologies will include the Native Instruments audio engine, which was used in the Mirror’s Edge and EA Sports FC video games. This engine enables the player to switch between visual and audio cues to help navigate the game. It also allows developers to create different control schemes, such as those that rely on voice commands or eye tracking.
This move by EA shows their dedication to make gaming an enjoyable experience for all, regardless of disability. In addition to open sourcing the audio engine, EA is also donating a portion of its advertising budget to Code Innovation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing accessibility in gaming.
EA’s commitment to accessibility is a welcome step in the right direction, and signifies that they are taking the issue seriously. The open sourcing of game tech will help bring awareness to the industry and demonstrate the importance of accessibility for people with disabilities. Here’s hoping that other developers and publishers in the industry will follow suit.