EA is letting anyone use some of its accessibility-focused patents

EA is letting anyone use some of its accessibility-focused patents

US publishing giant Electronic Arts is allowing any games company to use some of the patents it has that are focused on accessibility.

The firm has made what it's calling a Patent Pledge, which sees five technologies or concepts it has patented opened up to its competitors. This includes the Ping system from Respawn's free-to-play battle royale title Apex Legends, in addition to three parents that are already used in the FIFA, Madden and NFL franchises that help our players with visual disabilities.

The fifth patent gives users the ability to customise how they experience sound in games and is designed to help players with hearing issues.

“At Electronic Arts, our mission is to inspire the world to play," EA's EVP of Positive Play, Commercial and Marketing Chris Bruzzo said.

"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 realise 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 own pledges that put accessibility first. We welcome collaboration with others on how we move the industry forward together.”

This is the latest big step that the games industry has taken to make its products more accessible. In February, Microsoft opened up a testing process for developers and publishers to test just how accessible their projects were. That followed the Xbox firm making its Adaptive Controller, which gave people a variety of different means of playing games depending on their abilities.

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 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, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.