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Microsoft can now test how accessible games are for developers

Microsoft can now test how accessible games are for developers

Developers can now send Microsoft their games to see how accessible they are.

In a blog post on Xbox Wire, the Big M said that it can provide feedback on studios' projects to see how they can be improved when it comes to accessibility. This comes in the wake of Microsoft introducing the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines (XAG) back in 2020 – following a year of consulting with the industry – in order to come up with a list of things that developers should consider when making their games.

"Developers now have the option to send Microsoft their Xbox or PC title and have it analyzed and validated against the recommendations provided in the XAGs," senior program manager for gaming accessibility at Xbox Brannon Zahand said.

"Where issues are found, they are noted with reproduction steps, screenshots, and other information to help the developer understand what aspect of a given experience may be challenging for certain gamers with disabilities.

"They also wanted to make sure that developers understood the potential impact of a given issue on our gamers. To that end, the reports include additional information such as links to gaming accessibility and inclusive design documentation, non-profits and industry-recognized subject matter experts, platform-specific technical documentation, and more.

"Perhaps the most important aspect of the program, however, is the inclusion of gamers with disabilities as part of the testing project. Every test pass includes members of the Gaming & Disability Community to not only run test cases against games, but to provide their feedback and insights as well."

Microsoft has been a champion for accessibility in video games in recent years. Back in 2018, it introduced the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which allowed people to play games in a variety of ways. That same year, disability community lead Tara Voelker told PCGamesInsider.biz that making games more accessible was both the right thing to do and good for business.

You can read our full interview with Voelker right here.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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