EA adds to open source accessibility tech including photosensitivity tool

EA adds to open source accessibility tech including photosensitivity tool

US publishing giant Electronic Arts has added to its open-sourced accessibility tools.

This time around, the firm is allowing developers to use tech including the IRIS photosensitivity tool. This analyses frames within a video that could have a negative impact on photosensitive gamers and is designed to protect people with Photosensitive Epilepsy. IRIS has already been used in some of the company's EA Sports titles, including Sports FC 24, WRC and Madden NFL 24.

That's one of five patents that EA is open-sourcing for other developers. The others are:

  • Automated Player Control Takeover is designed to detect when players stop playing a game and take over. This is to help players with disabilities who might have difficulties with specific sections of a game.
  • Adaptive Gaming Tutorial System, which figures out a player's level of skill or play style and provides guidance based on that information.
  • Route Navigation System, a system that generates navigation routes to help players through a game world. This was first used in Mirror's Edge Catalyst and is designed to provide accessibility for players with cognitive and visual disabilities.
  • Animated and Personalised Coach for Video Games, which gives players insights both in-game and outside about their performance while playing.

“Our patent pledge was created on the principle that everyone, no matter their background, should be able to enjoy video games," EA's SVP of global affairs, Kerry Hopkins, said.

"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.”

EA first started open sourcing some of its accessibility patents in 2021, with a swathe of tech including the Ping system from Apex Legends. This continued last year with another six accessibility patents.

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.