EA has “opened up” its accessibility tools and technology for “wider use to help gamers”.
In a statement, EA reiterated its commitment to inclusivity by making its “easy-to-use photosensitivity analysis tool” available publicly via open source.
The tool, known as IRIS, automatically analyses and identifies frames within videos that could potentially impact players who experience photosensitivity.
“IRIS was created with ease of access in mind, and it offers analysis that is quick to understand for those developing visual digital content,” the megacorp explains. “The tool makes it simpler to check content for flashing lights or rapidly changing spatial patterns. It also means developers can analyse content for potential photosensitivity issues early in the development pipeline.”
The developer confirms that this software has been used internally to test “select content” in EA Sports Madden NFL 24, EA Sports FC 24, and EA Sports WRC, and it plans to “expand its use” in the future”.
For the science bit, you can check out the code for the software on GitHub.
That’s not all, though. EA has also made four of its patents royalty-free, including automated player controller takeover – a system that auto-detects when a player stops engaging with the game and takes over the reins, playing in a style that imitates that of the player – and its adaptive gaming tutorial system, which provides players guidance on how to perform in-game commands and techniques in a way that is tailored to each players’ skill or play style.
Mirror Edge Catalysts route navigation system is also up for grabs – it was designed to add route guidance to players through “large and complex game environments”, which EA says is good for cognitive and visual accessibility – and finally an animated and personalised coach for video games to give players in- and out-of-game insights on how to improve their performance.
Kerry “Surprise Mechanics” Hopkins, SVP, global affairs, at EA said:
“Our patent pledge was created on the principle that everyone, no matter their background, should be able to enjoy video games. We are continuing to build on that pledge by open-sourcing our photosensitivity tool, IRIS, and opening up the use of additional patented technology which could help players with motor, cognitive, visual and/or other disabilities have a smoother game experience.
“We want to enable developers across the community to break down barriers to participation, create safer, more inclusive, more accessible and ultimately more fun experiences for players worldwide.”