"I wouldn't honestly be shocked if Brian Smith (generic name by the way), showed this off at a raing game convention and, I am not joking, got attacked for it. The racing game genre does not, and I am not making this up, want any disabled gamers."
Thankfully, you're very much mistaken. See below.
Developers across the industry are caring more and more about accessibility. That includes racing game developers. See below.
“The vision for the game is to bring a larger and more diverse community together, who are passionate about cars and racing. We don’t want age, gender or any disabilities getting in the way of that,” said Dan Greenawalt, Creative Director at Turn 10.
“Accessibility is just part of our development process, and we look at it all the way along. Every year we invest more, we take a couple of steps forward on each version and we do more things. It’s very important to us; it’s right at the core of our vision.
“In Forza 7 there is a level of auto-steering that means the car will navigate the track for you; there’s a level of auto-braking that means you really don’t have to do anything else. That was all about accessibility. The racing line used to be green and red, now it’s green and blue, and that was to make sure it didn’t affect people with a certain type of colour blindness. The controllers have multi-USB support, which helps with a lot of bespoke accessibility controllers that disabled gamers can use on PCs.
“We have also included audible cues, so a sight-challenged player can know they are approaching the end of traction and how far out of traction they are.”
So there you have it. Developers of one of the top selling racing games already thinking a great deal about accessibility, implementing lots of features specifically for gamers with disabilities, specifically including audio cues for people who can't see visual cues, and a commitment to doing more in future.
I totally understand being jaded about the state of the industry. But things are changing. A public statement like that from the head of a AAA studio would be utterly unimaginable a couple of years ago. It's quite a dramatic turnaround. Not to where it needs to be, but certainly past tipping point.
I'm not at liberty to speak about any individual companies, but suffice to say that from what I've seen across teh industry in general there are companies now taking accessibility very seriously, and asking serious questions about blind accessibility, who have not previously considered it at all. EA Sports' work on Madden and UFC is a perfect example.
I also understand that it is a bit much to take it on faith that things are progressing when there haven't yet been many examples. But 2019 should be the year when you really start to see some interesting things.
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