Games should be for everyone, but as experts Björn Jönsson and Sanna Hedlund will tell you, it’s not always easy if game developers didn’t create their latest opuses with accessibility in mind. Björn and Sanna volunteer at Massive Entertainment – a Ubisoft Studio with one goal: to share their personal experience of disability and gaming with our studio’s accessibility initiative.
In a new documentary from gTV, we follow Björn and Sanna’s perspective on what it’s like to collaborate with Massive on the initiative started in 2018, and led by Games Lab Coordinator Mikkel Colbe Nielsen.
Projects like these are hugely important to Ubisoft, as David Tisserand, Senior Manager for Accessibility, explains:
“As the third biggest independent publisher of the gaming industry it’s our social responsibility to make sure that we don’t unintentionally exclude anyone from interacting with our universes, being part of the conversation and hype around our games, and generally taking part of the social phenomenon that games have become.
“It’s also a great way to provide more customization for everyone as those efforts do not only benefit disabled players but the entire population by allowing everyone to tweak their experience to their needs.”
The video has English audio, with French, German and English subtitles available.
In particular, the Legend of Zelda series holds a special place in Björn’s heart, as we see him face his challenges with a similar courage and resolve to Nintendo’s illustrious hero.
Björn and Sanna bring a range of perspectives to the accessibility initiative at Ubisoft Massive. Or, as as Sanna points out in the documentary:
“It’s also important to remember that nobody is the same in their disability – we all need different things.”
As well as testing certain aspects of games like Tom Clancy’s The Division and technology like the Xbox Adaptive Controller, the initiative also looks at how to improve the user interface and user experience, from game menus to the Uplay launcher.
The initiative seen in this video is just one of many efforts taking place across Ubisoft to improve accessibility, including the Accessible Design Workshops, the creation of a transversal Accessibility team, and the increased accessibility of Ubisoft Forward with American Sign Language and Audio Described trailers.