The Last of Us Part II is a masterpiece for many reasons, one being that it features the most accessibility options we've ever seen in a video game, clocking in over 60 individual settings.
In an interview with Can I Play That (opens in new tab), Naughty Dog co-lead Game Designer Emilia Schatz and Lead Systems Designer Matthew Gallant went into a deep discussion about the process of implementing accessibility settings into The Last of Us Part II and how the company wants to share its process with other devs.
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How Naughty Dog wants to "strive to be at the forefront of accessibility in games"
“We want everyone to be able to play our games, and we will continue to strive to be at the forefront of accessibility in games,” said Gallant.
Naughty Dog first began its accessibility voyage with Uncharted 4, which included a dedicated accessibility menu. However, the team wanted to push the boundaries of accessibility in games with The Last of Us Part II.
"Most of the features, once implemented, become just a part of our engine and workflow," said Schatz. "And for some of the more difficult-to-implement features, we’ll find better ways of doing them so development can be more streamlined."
The pair dove deep into the development process in the aforementioned interview -- we recommend reading it if you're interested, but the biggest takeaway was that Naughty Dog wants to continue to share its knowledge with other devs about how it implemented these accessibility features.
"Knowledge sharing is critical to the advancement of accessibility support across the games industry," said Gallant. "We have and will continue to discuss and collaborate with other developers and studios who are also striving to provide better accessibility features for players."
Schatz chimed in on that as well, "[I] hope that Naughty Dog’s investment in accessibility saves that guesswork for other developers, allowing them the development time to include and even improve on these features for their own games."
More accessibility in games? You love to see it.