I will never be a corporate apologize. But sometimes a company can get it right once in a while. Surprisingly, the company doing the work this time is EA.
Over the weekend, it was reported that EA has open sourced its accessibility tools for “wider use to help gamers”. It’s doing this to reiterate its commitment to inclusivity.
The name of the tool is IRIS. What it does is analyses and identifies particular frames within video that could possibly trigger a photosensitivity issue within certain players.
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 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.”
Excerpt from statement from EA
The tool has been used in many EA Sports titles and use will be expanded in the future.
The code has already been released on GitHub if you’d like to check it out.
But there’s more! EA turned four of their patents royalty-free for others to use. One is for a system that will take over for a player if input isn’t detected after a while. Another is for a route navigation system that was used in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. That was developed to help users navigate large invironments.
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.”
Kerry Hopkins, SVP, Global Affairs, EA