MMO juggernaut World of Warcraft is going to be supporting game controllers with this year's Shadowlands expansion.
The news was officially revealed by community manager Randy 'Kaivax' Jordan on the title's forums – as spotted by GamesRadar – following a data miner called Grayson, via Martin Benjamins on Twitter, finding references to gamepad support in the MMO. Some thought this was a sign that World of Warcraft was going to be coming to consoles, though it seems that this isn't the case.
Players have used game controllers in World of Warcraft for some time but have had to use third-party additions to introduce this functionality. Blizzard has opted to support these input methods officially so that differently-abled players can enjoy World of Warcraft, including Xbox's Adaptive Controller.
“For a long time, we’ve seen a small number of players turn to 3rd party add-ons, such as Console Port 17, in order to work through certain accessibility issues," Jordan said.
“We always want to make WoW more widely accessible, if possible, so in Shadowlands, we’re attempting to add some support for keybinds, camera, and turning a character on controllers such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller.”
Microsoft revealed the Xbox Adaptive Controller back in May 2018. This hardware was designed to be customisable to the needs to user with the assistance of organisations such as charity SpecialEffect.
Speaking to PCGamesInsider.biz, Microsoft's gaming and disability community lead Tara Voelker said that making games more accessible is both the right thing to do, as well as a savvy business decision. You can check out the full interview here.
The Shadowlands expansion for World of Warcraft is set to launch later this year.