Playground Games is doubling down on its commitment to make Forza Horizon 5 one of the most accessible titles in gaming. In addition to already existing accessibility features, which can slow the game down to help players who need more reaction time, and feature better subtitles or text-to-speech communication, the developer has announced it will add a sign language interpreter in a future update.
This interpreter will translate text in cinematics into either American Sign Language (ASL) or British Sign Language (BSL). The feature will be picture-in-picture near the bottom of the screen so players can better follow the game’s action.
The feature won’t be available at launch, but support is coming in future.
‘We want everyone in the world to be able to experience our game, and with more than an estimated 400 million gamers with disabilities across the globe, it is vital that all players be able to tailor their gameplay in a way that works best for them,’ Mike Brown, creative director of Playground Games’ Forza Horizon 5 said in a new Xbox Wire post.
According to Brown, the team worked tirelessly alongside players from the Gaming & Disability community to help overcome the accessibility barriers facing disabled gamers.
From this partnership and research, the team was able to include a variety of features in Forza Horizon 5 which should address the accessibility needs of many gamers around the world.
These include a Game Speed Modification toggle that pads out reaction time, High Contrast and Colour Blindness modes to more easily distinguish text and menus, and hearty subtitle options that can be customised according to player needs.
There’s also font size controls, text-to-speech and speech-to-text options for chat, screen reader narration, the ability to remove distracting backgrounds, and customisable notifications to aid a distraction-free experience.
Playground Games is committed to making the game as accessible as possible — and it’s awesome to see such solid strides being made. Games are powerful, and they should be for everyone.
Xbox and its developers are leading the push for change with new accessibility features and accessories like the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and while there’s still a long way to go to make gaming as inclusive as possible, the steps currently being taken are important and impactful.
Forza Horizon 5 is out now on Xbox consoles and PC. While sign language interpretation is not currently available in the game, expect it to land in a future update.