EA has filed a patent for Apex Legends' ping system, but they want other games to use it too.
As part of EA's Accessibility First Patent Pledge, the publisher is granting free access to some of their patents, including the Apex Legends ping system. The aim is to allow developers to freely copy and use some of EA's accessibility-related technology.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, EA's Executive Vice President of Positive Play, Commercial and Marketing Chris Bruzzo said "We want to encourage this, we want to be bringing others along." The hope here is that other publishers will follow the example, making games accessible to everyone on a much wider scale.
"We hope developers will make the most of these patents and encourage those who have the resources, innovation and creativity to do as we have by making their own pledges that put accessibility first."
What is the Ping System in Apex Legends?
The ping system is a function that allows people who are unable to speak or hear via voice chat to continue to communicate with their teams. The function has been commended for it's ability to help reduce in-game toxicity, removing the reliance on verbal communication and helping to reduce the amount of abuse given and received by players.
Additional patents that have been added as part of the pledge include open-source technology, addressing issues surrounding contrast, brightness, and color-blindness. EA has stated that additional patents may be added to the pledge at later dates.
EA has confirmed that no license fees or royalties will be involved where developers choose to use the technologies. Hopefully players can look forward to more games implementing these technologies in the near future.