[games_access] We must get data sooner than later

Brannon Zahand brannonz at microsoft.com
Thu May 3 15:04:44 EDT 2007


I just discovered this yesterday. It is incredible!

As for discussing costs of implementing features, it's hard to come up with exact numbers. However, I've been using a few arguments when people give me the "It's Not Cost Effective" speech...

1) If planned on early enough, the amount of work it takes to add basic accessibility features (such as CC, customizable controls, ability to control text size, etc.) is relatively minimal.
2) For larger publishers, this code can often be written once and then reused in other titles with minimal effort.
3) Below is a quote from a research report Microsoft commissioned. You can make the case that this applies to games on the PC and that it is highly probably that it applies to console games as well...

"The study also determined that the use of accessibility features was not restricted to people with disabilities. Among computer users who use built-in accessibility options and utilities: 32% have no disability or impairment." -A Research Report Commissioned by Microsoft Corporation and Conducted by Forrester Research, Inc., in 2004


-----Original Message-----
From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org] On Behalf Of Reid Kimball
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:54 AM
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: [games_access] We must get data sooner than later

Kotaku posted the Quest video on their site

One comment from a poster:
"The problem is that it's not cost effective to tweak and add special
options and controls for disabled gamers. The amount of time, effort,
and money it takes to add all that doesn't produce a financial reward
in the end for the company who makes the game because disabled gamers
aren't exactly a sizeable demographic."

I see this point made over and over again and no one knows the truth.
We really need to find out the truth. I'm hopeful the facts will
reveal that in fact it will be very cost effective for developers.

Dimitris, do you have any data on how much it cost you to add all the
accessible for Terrestrial Invaders vs. how much the game would have
cost if you left them out?

Does anyone have any good research skills? I've tried before to find a
recent statistic on how many disabled people there are in the US,
Europe, Asia, and so on. Ideally we'd have the following stats,

in each territory US, UK, Europe, Asia, etc
# of disabled blind
# of disabled deaf/hard of hearing
# of people with any mobility issues, from arthritis to quadriplegia
# of cognitive disabled

# of male populations that play games
# of female populations that play games

Age groups of people that play games

Any more categories? I'm hoping with all the data we can piece things
together and say something equivalent to, "we know that 30% of the
male population between the ages of 16 and 33 in the US, which is
25,000,000 mil, of those 10% are blind, 25% have some type of hearing
disability and shockingly 35% have mobility impairments. Then we can
break it down into actual estimated numbers. We really need some way
to combat these assumptions that there isn't a market and it's not
cost productive.

I spent zero money developing Doom3[CC]. It only took time on nights
and weekends while I worked a full time job. It has been downloaded
over 19,000 times since release. If I had charged $5 dollars for it I
could have profited $95,000 dollars. That's a one year salary for a
talented programmer in some parts of the US, who could make huge
impacts at a company.

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