The Importance of Accessibility in Games & How Research Can Help

About a 2 min. read

Jen Perry
Associate Vice President, Sales

All industries strive to perfect the degree to which people can use a product, accommodating different needs and preferences, whether it be differences in vision, hearing, mobility, cognition, or language.

There are social, legal, and financial reasons why game developers should consider making their games more accessible and why publishers should promote accessible games. However, for most of the Games industry, accessibility in games is not a high priority. Lack of awareness about accessibility issues or limited time is why accessibility does not receive attention.

As the Gaming industry continues to grow and widen its base, it has never been more important to ensure that games are accessible to everyone. So, what can Gaming developers and publishers do?

From the early stages of development, launch, or even marking campaigns (are players even aware of the games’ accessibility features?), player feedback is essential. To understand potential issues, publishers need to speak and listen to disabled audiences to learn about needs and features in every part of the process.  Conducting Qualitative research is a great way to bring the voice of the consumer to life, uncovering deeper, more meaningful insights and richer truths.

A common research concern is finding niche, marginalized audiences, but many groups have already built organic communities that can be tapped into at any time. Several online forums exist for gamers with disabilities to express their experiences (good and bad) with specific games, platforms, and even product showcases. At CMB, we can help tap into these groups both qualitatively and quantitatively using proprietary tools, such as our themeAI and emotionAI solutions, to dive deeper into emerging themes and sentiments. CMB’s seasoned experts translate these in-the-moment conversations into impactful insights that can expand potential audiences, increase player satisfaction, and enhance a company’s reputation and social responsibility. Thousands of threads/posts/conversations are refined with our proprietary models and human intelligence to bring scale and quality to a group as niche as disabled gamers. When paired with our creative qualitative solutions, you can further enrich the player’s perspective and pinpoint areas of concern.

As a sample size of 1, I can personally express the elation I feel when I know there is a system setting that can take away my stress and allow me to enjoy the challenges and fun the game was created for. Gaming is an art and active entertainment that deserves to be shared with everyone. Gaming publishers and studios have made large advancements in accessibility for gamers, but there is still more room to listen and innovate with guidance from the players.

If you have a niche audience that you need to connect with, contact us to get started on your research project.