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Inclusive Gaming: Popular Game by Sony Aims to be More Accessible

June 09, 2020

When The Last of Us Part II launches on June 19, it promises to offer more accessibility features than any game ever released.

Developer Naughty Dog said in a blog post on Tuesday that The Last of Us Part II will ship with more than 60 accessibility features “focused on fine-motor and hearing, as well as completely new features that benefit low-vision and blind players.” The company’s lead systems designer Matthew Gallant said this is part of a broader push to increase the number of people who can play the game.

Accessibility controls are critical to achieving that goal. In a 2015 study, The Netherlands-based Accessibility Foundation found that 92% of people with disabilities are interested in playing video games. Players surveyed said they play an average of 10 hours a week playing video games.

“If more games are made more accessible, more gamers with impairments will be able to play more games and with less difficulties,” the foundation wrote in a statement. “By creating more accessible games, game publishers, and developers also reach a bigger audience as the community of people with disabilities comprise a relatively high percentage of gamers.”

Naughty Dog said that The Last of Us Part II will come with three presets with settings for vision, hearing, and motor accessibility. Vision presets, for instance, will turn on text-to-speech and create a high-contrast view. It will also provide combat audio cues and make adjustments to combat settings. Hearing presets will turn on awareness indicators, combat vibration cues, and other settings. Motor accessibility settings will activate an auto weapon swap, automatic pick-up of items, and camera assist.

Additionally, Naughty Dog said that The Last of Us Part II is the first game it’s released with fully customizable controls. Any function in the game can be remapped to another button, and players will be able to decide whether they want to use their right or left hands to control characters. Players can even choose how they want to strum a guitar.

“We look forward to having players leverage these features and continuing to drive awareness and advocacy for accessibility support in games together,” Gallant said.

The Last of Us Part II takes place five years after the completion of its predecessor, The Last of Us. It follows the lead character Ellie and her attempt at survival and revenge in an increasingly troubled and vicious post-apocalyptic world.

Source: Digital Trends

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