ESA Report: 89% of players say video games create accessible experiences for disabled players

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

In a new report from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), video game accessibility was briefly mentioned.

The ESA mentioned accessibility very briefly in its “Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry” report for 2021 on July 13. It highlighted specifically that 89% of players say “video games can create accessible experiences for people with different abilities.” This was noted under the benefits of play section where 89% of players also say that video games can bring together different types of people (Individuals of different cultures, races, ages, political affiliations, etc.)”

While the mention is only brief, the growth of video game accessibility has been incredibly prominent across the industry in the last few years. The release of The Last of Us Part 2 caught media attention for how accessible it was, and since then conversations have arguably boomed. Developers such a DigixArt have had accessibility in mind throughout production, games from the past are being made more accessible, such as Diablo 2: Resurrection, and we’ve had live events across the industry be more inclusive. 2020 also saw the release of the Xbox Series X|S and PS5, two new-gen consoles that come packed with system-level accessibility.

Uncharted 4 Accessibility Drake jumping key art

Alongside the ESA report mentioning accessibility, other details from the benefits of play section of the report stated that 90% of players find that games bring them joy, 87% find them to provide mental stimulation while 87% also find them to provide stress relief. The topic of video game accessibility doesn’t seem to be dying down, if anything, despite negative views from some, there’s an overwhelming number of people supporting games and companies that include more players.

You may notice the ESA as the company behind the annual E3 show where numerous studios reveal their upcoming titles. This year, accessibility was involved in the events entirely-digital event but it wasn’t wonderful for subtitles as noted by Engadget. Hopefully, the ESA will look into improving things next year.

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Ben
BaylissEditor-in-ChiefHe/Him

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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