Electronic Arts are releasing their five accessibility-related technology patents that also includes the ping system from Apex Legends, freely available for use by anyone, even its competitors. This is a very interesting and strange move EA if you ask me.
According to sources, the publisher of the page which is EA mentioned that it was making a “Patents Pledge,” and promised to make five of its patents available for free and without repercussion to anyone who wishes to use them indefinitely.
Not just the company also pledged to make the same decision for the future technologies it will be developing.
The release of these five patents for the public to use means that anyone including other developers, competitors, or others can make use of these five patients without having to worry about being sued by EA.
Coming to these patents, the most famous and notable amongst them is the ping system from Apex Legends, which was lauded at the game’s launch for allowing players to communicate easily with one another in-game.
The mechanism behind, the system was praised for making Apex more accessible for players with hearing, speaking, or cognitive disabilities.
Out of the other patents, three more are related to vision accessibility and include tech that detects and modifies the colors, brightness, and contrast in a game to improve object visibility. We can see the effects of this technology currently in the Madden NFL and FIFA franchises.
The last remaining patent is currently not being used in any EA games however, we do know that it is related to personalized sound technology that assists players with hearing issues.
Using this technology, players can create or modify music based on their hearing preferences. And it’s not just the release of these patents, reports also indicate that EA is now open-sourcing code for colorblindness, brightness, and contrast accessibility in digital content. This code is being made available on GitHub.
“At Electronic Arts, our mission is to inspire the world to play, We can only make that a reality if our video games are accessible to all players. Our accessibility team has long been committed to breaking down barriers within our video games, but we realize that to drive meaningful change, we need to work together as an industry to do better for our players.
We hope developers will make the most of these patents and encourage those who have the resources, innovation, and creativity to do as we have by making their pledges that put accessibility first. We welcome collaboration with others on how we move the industry forward together.”