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Electronic Arts grants competitors free use of accessibility patents

Electronic Arts recently announced that it has opened up five of its accessibility-related patents to other brands. Those patented innovations are now free to use without legal repercussions. The game developer's accessibility patent pledge aims to encourage its competitors to implement features that make video games better for players living with disabilities or medical issues.

Two of the included patents are for image processing to optimize for color blindness, and the ping system used in Apex Legends, which allows players to easily communicate with team members without using voice chat. (The latter isn't just helpful for people with speech issues, but also cuts down on toxic chats — a great example of what we've dubbed OMNIBILITY.) More patents will be added as new accessibility tools are developed.

In addition to its patent pledge, EA is also open-sourcing code through GitHub that can pave the way for other developers to come up with their own inclusivity solutions.

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As EA explains: "We believe games should be accessible to everyone. Our internal teams have long been committed to breaking down barriers for our players. But to create meaningful change we need to work together as an industry."

Whether it's in the alt-dairy space or the live music industry, cooperation is key to making real progress. When it comes to the greater good, let go of that knee-jerk secrecy and open up wide!