Electronic Arts launches accessibility patent pledge, makes 5 technology patents available to all developers

The gaming company is offering restricted patents as a way to promote accessibility in gaming.

Image via Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts has officially made five of its registered gaming patents available for use by all developers and studios in hopes of meeting the “needs of diverse populations in gaming and beyond.”

This new patent pledge the company is making is centered on giving developers access to previously restricted technology patents for free as a way to promote more game design, specifically for those with disabilities. 

“Anyone can freely use these patents and implement our accessibility-centered IP in their own games to make them more inclusive,” EA said. “This pledge covers some of our most innovative technologies designed to break down barriers for players living with disabilities or medical issues. This includes those with vision, hearing, speaking or cognitive issues.”

With this pledge, EA is actively allowing all parties access to a specific list of patents, while ensuring it will not enforce any legal penalties for potential infringement while using any of the afforded technologies. 

Despite this, EA has included a “Defensive Termination” ruling that has the company reserving its right to terminate the pledge for specific parties or affiliates moving forward if the party files a patent infringement lawsuit or other patent proceeding against EA, its affiliates, or partners.”

EA has also made the pledge legally binding, irrevocable outside of the “Defensive Termination” ruling, and “enforceable against EA and all subsequent patent owners of the listed patents.” This does not defend developers from potential infringement claims by any third parties, however.

Here is the list of patents that have been initially made available as part of EA’s pledge, which includes Apex Legends ping system

  • Contextually Aware Communications System in Video Games
    • Ping System that allows players to transmit contextually aware audio and visual communications generated via mappable controller inputs.
  • Systems and Methods for Automated Image Processing for Images with Similar Luminosities
    • Image processing that improves visibility of colours to optimize for colour vision deficiencies.
  • Contrast Radio Detection and Rendering System
    • Automatically detecting contrast ratios in pixel regions of rendered frames and updating regions having subpar contrast ratios to meet contrast ratio standards or thresholds.
  • Personalized Real-Time Audio Generation Based on User Physiological Response
    • Generating personalized music based on a user’s hearing information and stylistic preference to best comport with that user’s hearing issues.

Future additions may also be made to the patents pledge at a later date. You can read a detailed list of patents, resources, and legal information on the official EA website