Sony wants its studios to “explore new and innovative ways” for accessibility

Sony wants its studios to “explore new and innovative ways” for accessibility

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

Sony Interactive Entertainment encourages its studios to explore new and innovative ways of making games accessible as detailed in a new interview about Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart’s accessibility.

With a focus on Insomniac Games’ latest Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Mark Friend, lead user researcher at Sony Interactive Entertainment talked about the companies commitments to accessibility. “There’s more to accessibility in game development than just following suggested guidelines,” Friend said In an interview with Wired, and further explained, “every game released by PlayStation Studios is different, so our goal is always to ensure that we tailor our support to our studios and their games.”

Friend explained that the guidelines Sony Interactive Entertainment provides are a “great baseline of knowledge,” but said that “we also want to ensure that our studios are free to explore new and innovative ways of making their games more accessible.” This was shown through Insomniac Games taking what it had implemented in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales building on that for Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. Michelle Zorrilla, advanced senior user experience researcher at Insomniac noted one feature from this exploration was Game Speed that allows players to control the speed of the game at will.

Sony Interactive has been getting stuck in with accessibility recently. The company joined a Disability:IN campaign this year that encourages businesses in “advancing equality and inclusion.” The company also revealed the accessibility features for the PS5 before launch last year. Then in April of this year, a system update introduced new features.

Also, when Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 launched last year —with its 60+ accessibility options— the studio’s lead systems designer, Matthew Gallant told CIPT, “We [Naughty Dog] have and will continue to discuss and collaborate with other developers and studios who are also striving to provide better accessibility features for players”

This seems to still be a focus for the company as Friend also said in the Wired interview, “It’s also been important for us to work with developers across PlayStation Studios to inform newer iterations of the accessibility guidelines, to make sure that what we outline is achievable.”

Find out what we thought of the game in our Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart accessibility review.

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Ben Bayliss

Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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