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The Game Awards Now Has An Accessibility (AKA The Last Of Us 2) Category

Geoff Keighley just announced a new category debuting at the Game Awards this year: Innovation in Accessibility. This award will recognize developers creating content, features, and technology that help people with disabilities enjoy games.

Innovation in Accessibility is the latest Game Awards category to shine a spotlight on industry professionals that help make gaming a hobby anyone can enjoy. Ranging from titles that include colorblind modes all the way up to Xbox’s impressive adaptive controller. There’s loads of progress being made in the field, and those putting in the work deserve commendation. Finally, thanks to this new award, it looks like they will be.

Probably the biggest strides made this year in the AAA space regarding accessibility came from The Last Of Us: Part 2. Naughty Dog, the game’s developer, went to great lengths to make it one of the most accessible games ever. With more than 60 accessibility settings, ranging from custom button remapping to on-screen directional arrows that help hard-of-hearing people, the bar has certainly been set high.

While there are no details on the nominees yet, it’s a safe bet that Naughty Dog will be among those up for the award. The Last Of Us: Part 2’s commitment to accessibility even caught the attention of mainstream media outlets like CNN and the BBC. A video of Steve Saylor, a notable accessibility consultant and advocate in the games industry, reacting to the accessibility options went viral. Saylor broke down on camera for just shy of ten minutes, utterly overwhelmed by how many options the game had. It’s (sadly) unprecedented. Even Ghost Of Tsushima, another AAA first-party game from Sony, was noticeably lacking compared to The Last Of Us: Part 2. Despite the fact that the former came out a full month after the latter.

The 2020 Game Awards wont go live until December 10, so there’s plenty of time to speculate over what studios might be nominated for the Innovation in Accessibility award. Hopefully, by the time the show rolls around, the list will be full of deserving nominees.

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