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Monday, January 25, 2016


January 21, 2016 --The AbleGamers Foundation has announced the Accessible Video Games for 2015.

The year 2015 started to show the true strength of the newest generation of video game consoles, with many blockbuster sequels and creative new ideas releasing on every system. AbleGamers is once again searching through those releases to find what demonstrates the good game design practices of Accessibility. Many games were considered, both mainstream and independent, but only one of each classification stood out beyond the others to be classified as Accessible Game of the Year.

This past year, many advances occurred within the gaming industry to further allow gamers with disabilities options to improve their gaming experiences. Gaming consoles themselves released more options to improve gaming experiences for everyone. The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One each feature entire accessibility sections on the hardware, allowing gamers to modify their gaming experiences with closed captions, button remapping, zoom functions, higher contrasts, text-to-speech, and more. Both Sony and Microsoft saw the need for these options and included them at the hardware level, which is a huge step forward for accessibility across the entire gaming industry. 2015 also saw the release of accessible controllers, such as the Xbox One Elite controller, as well as the Steam Controller, putting accessible controllers in major retailers and pushing Accessible hardware into the mainstream. We hope to see the major console and hardware manufacturers continue to release accessible products so everyone can game.

The AbleGamers staff have decided on a Mainstream and Indie Accessible GOTY. From a list of many appeared two winners, each exampling accessibility in different forms.


Rocket League was the surprise indie hit of the year, winning many awards, and earning recognition as a runaway success story all throughout the industry. Yet, a game about cars smashing into each other in an epic soccer battle isn’t exactly something most would think of when it comes to accessibility.

Psyonix went to great lengths to include as many gamers as possible by working with focus groups and gamers of different abilities to ensure a large swath of accessibility.

Right off the bat, Rocket League has fully remappable keys, including one of the most interesting features AbleGamers has seen in a racing game of any kind: Both the X and Y axis controls can be mapped directly to the mouse. If you want to drive left, you move the mouse to the left. If you want to drive forward, you move the mouse forward. In fact, the entire game can be controlled using only the mouse, keyboard, or controller. An impressive feat for a game in this genre.

Team colors are defaulted to orange and blue for colorblind friendly play. Also, visual cues are built directly into the game from shield icons appearing on your team’s goal, so you don’t accidentally score on yourself, to ball position indicators for when the ball goes off screen.

The short, five-minute matches strike an excellent balance between fun and strenuous activity for those who fatigue easily. And although the matches do require faster reflexes, the visual indicators and interactive tutorials make learning the game easy for those with cognitive disabilities.

“We’re extremely honored to receive the “Mainstream Indie Game of the Year Award” from the AbleGamers Charity,” said Corey Davis, Psyonix Design Director. “Our team is thrilled that a wider group of players are finding success with Rocket League in a variety of ways, and it’s humbling to be associated with AbleGamers’ great efforts in the industry. Going forward, we will continue to strive for more “ease of use” solutions in Rocket League’s future. Thank you!”


MLB 15 The Show is a series that reiterates the basics of accessible game design and improves their accessibility more and more each year. MLB 15 The Show features seven different difficulty levels, with the option of a Dynamic difficulty changing based upon your play. The game also allows for automation of individual sets of gameplay, allowing players to choose whether or not they want be in control of batting, pitching, fielding, or running bases.

MLB 15 The Show does not require sound for any part of gameplay, and includes incredibly detailed and complete full closed captioning for the announcers. Visual accessibility is thought of as well, with many different camera options for each section of gameplay, large bars detailing player stats alongside numerical values, as well as a “ball trail” allowing easier following of the ball in play. MLB 15 The Show continues the high accessibility options of past titles, and increases that accessibility with more diverse options every release.

SCEA San Diego studios was thrilled to hear of their win for accessible game of the year, calling the award “awesome” and recalling the serious amount of options included in the game.

There are many other games that were steps forward for accessibility, and some other mainstream games that failed in every regard. Console manufacturers are demonstrating the value in accessibility, more game developers need to follow suit. To find our Da Vinci Award winning document Includification: “A Practical Guide to Game Accessibility” and to find out more on how to make your game more accessible, visit Includification.com.
For The AbleGamers Foundation, visit: http://www.ablegamers.com/

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