Square Enix is making a commitment towards better accessibilityHere’s how we’re improving accessibility in our games and beyond.
Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020. In the spirit of the event we wanted to talk about the various initiatives we’ve launched around accessibility and inclusion.
Here at Square Enix, we strive to deliver unforgettable gaming experiences to as many people as possible, and making sure that our games and services are accessible is a very important part of that mission.
Our teams work hard to create games that go beyond your expectations, but the barriers that players can encounter when playing our games - and games in general - make it so that we must acknowledge that improvements must be made.
We’re privileged and thankful that people around the world choose to play our titles, but we want to do better in order to include everyone in our gaming worlds.
It’s hard to ignore the number of players we potentially exclude from our games due to accessibility barriers. And that’s not counting those individuals who benefit from accessibility options even if they don’t identify as having a disability.
That’s why we’re taking more steps to improve the quality and accessibility of our games, events and services.
And we’re not doing it alone. We want to share this journey with our community in order to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard and their needs considered. Because ultimately, gaming should feel fun and empowering for all, right?
So what are we doing to improve accessibility?
Square Enix has launched a number of initiatives in 2020 to improve inclusion across our games.
For one thing, they hired me! Hi - my name’s Améliane Chiasson and I’ve been Accessibility Lead at Square Enix since January 2020. My role is to help guide the company towards a more accessible future and push our standards towards better inclusion.
I’m very proud and happy to say that I’m working with teams of skilled - and committed - individuals to make it happen. We have a network of passionate allies across our studios who have been advocating for accessibility long before I arrived full-time on this position, so rest assured that this commitment transcends beyond my own.
We’re also working directly with accessibility experts and players to improve the options within our games. These activities include consultations, studies, workshops, trainings, events focused on accessibility, and much more. For example, we have hosted our first internal ‘’Accessibility Week’’ this week. Speakers and accessibility specialists came in remotely to talk about gaming and disability and we have learned a lot from them.
Additionally, other steps have been taken in order to raise the level of awareness and knowledge surrounding accessibility within our studios. We’ve worked with AbleGamers to certify multiple employees in Accessible Player Experiences across our Western studios. You can learn more and donate to AbleGamers charity here.
We’re continuing to invest in education, advocacy and trainings within the company and hope to deliver even more accessible games for you all to enjoy. This is a journey.
‘’Nothing about us without us’’
That is a mantra we always want to stand by. As I said at the top of this article, we’re not doing any of this without you. We can’t simply assume the needs of our community - we need to talk to you and make sure that your voice is heard. Through consulting, testing and feedback. That is the only way we can make sure that everyone’s needs are being considered.
To that end, we have a request. Please reach out to us with your feedback, suggestions or questions related to accessibility by sending a message through the new Accessibility Feedback section of the Square Enix customer support website:
Whether you’ve encountered a barrier in one of our games, at an event or while experiencing our content on social media and websites, all will be meticulously reviewed and reported to the appropriate teams.
This can genuinely make a difference - even if a game’s already out. For example, FINAL FANTASY XIV Online saw patches in the past to accommodate player feedback regarding color blindness and other visual barriers.
Patch 4.3 (May 2018) introduced color filtering options
As we come together today to highlight Global Accessibility Awareness Day, please know that we are listening to you and stating firmly our commitment to breaking down barriers and creating games that all can enjoy.
Thanks for reading, and please keep your feedback coming (here’s the link again).
That’s not all! Stay on the lookout soon for a special blog post regarding the accessibility journey so far on Marvel’s Avengers.