Accessibility is increasingly becoming an important part of game design. Nowadays, more and more game manufacturers are realizing the need to accommodate gamers who find it difficult to play their favorite games with typical controller settings and settings. On this front, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer praised Naughty Dog, the developer of Uncharted and The Last of Us.
After a lively Gamescom conference for Microsoft, Spencer responded on Twitter to Naughty Dog’s message, which talks about all the special features they bring to The Last of Us Part 1, a remake of the PS5 action game of 2013. He praised Naughty Dog, The Last of Us team, and director Neil Drakmann for their “impressive” and “inspiring” attention to accessibility, stating that the studio “continues to innovate” with each new release.
Naughty Dog then thanked Spencer for the praise, although the studio stressed that this was just part of an “industry-wide” effort to find new ways to improve accessibility for gamers. At the same time, he also stated that he was “delighted with the achievements” that his developers had achieved. Considering that Naughty Dog’s recent efforts on this front have been well received, including by a blind gamer who was brought to tears by the accessibility features of The Last of Us Part 2, this is understandable.
Unsurprisingly, Spencer praised Naughty Dog for its efforts, despite the fact that it belongs to Microsoft’s main competitor, Sony. Under him, the Xbox brand made accessibility the main focus, as evidenced by the implementation of functions in games such as Forza Horizon 5, and the creation of the Xbox Adaptive Controller. As a long-time advocate of accessibility in games, Spencer was one of the main figures behind the industry-wide efforts mentioned by Naughty Dog.
The first part of The Last of Us, Part 1, won’t be released for a few more days, but Naughty Dog has already listed all the special features added in the remake, and they are certainly impressive. For gamers with vision problems, the game will have a radar that tracks nearby enemies, a high-contrast display and a full audio description for cinematic cut scenes. Meanwhile, players who struggle with motor functions can use features such as fully customizable button mapping, as well as the ability to use switches and holds for button press segments. These are just some of the more than 60 options that will be available to facilitate the game for those who have problems with vision, hearing or motor skills.
The Last of Us Part 1 is released on September 2 on PS5. A PC version is also in development.