Video game companies have spent a lot more time adding accessibility features to their titles recently. As the industry has expanded demographically, the need to make games playable for those with various impairments has become apparent. Forza Horizons 5 will soon be the first game to offer ASL and BSL interpretation.
Last week, Studio Playground Games announced it would soon bring on-screen sign language interpreters to Forza Horizons 5 cut scenes. The feature will display translators in the lower right corner of the screen using the traditional picture-in-picture style. Playground Games Creative Director Mike Brown mentioned that the interpreters are skilled in both American and British sign language, and there will be a preference toggle in the settings menu.
“The team is excited to share we are also working on American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) support for cinematics in Forza Horizon 5,” Brown said. “Coming soon, this feature will include a picture-in-picture display near the bottom of the screen of an ASL/BSL interpreter during the cinematics in the game.”
Sign-language interpretation will not be ready by launch, but Brown promised it was “coming soon” in a later update. However, the game should have several other accessibility features on release, including high contrast mode, color blindness mode, a screen reader, text-to-speech and speech-to-text in chat, a game speed modification setting, and more. Don’t worry. Subtitles will still be available, and players will have more control over their appearance, including size and background opacity.
“We want everyone in the world to be able to experience our game, and with more than an estimated 400 million gamers with disabilities across the globe, it is vital that all players be able to tailor their gameplay in a way that works best for them,” Brown noted.
Although the game has yet to launch, more than one million players have already been racking up top speeds for a few days now. Those who bought the Premium Edition or the Premium Add-Ons Bundle got early access on November 5. The rest of us can join them starting tomorrow, November 9.