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EA opens up Apex Legends’ pings and other accessibility patents

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Some of the best parts of Madden and Apex Legends

an Apex Legends screenshot of Loba crouched next to a robot with Wraith behind them Image: Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts is granting developers access to five of its patents relating to accessibility, including Apex Legends’ very good ping system. This allows other publishers and developers to freely use these systems in their own games, which is a win for gamers with disabilities. Electronic Arts will also continue to release patents under this patent pledge, as well as updating ones that have already been released.

Three of the patents being released are already used in Electronic Arts’ sports franchises, including Madden NFL and FIFA. These technologies “automatically detect and modify the colors, brightness and contrast in a game to improve the visibility of objects with similar luminosities.”

The fifth patent that is now available for open use “relates to personalized sound technology which aims to help players with hearing issues by modifying or creating music based on their hearing preferences and that works to any constraints they may face.”

The code can be found on GitHub, and is open to developers of any size or location. This allows them to use these patents in their games without spending the costs to research and develop their own alternatives. Other developers can also build on these systems in order to create even more far-reaching accessibility tools.