It’s been a busy but great month!
As we approach the 12th hour… err, month of 2021, it’s a suitable time to look back on all the cool things that have happened this November. We’ve seen some major games launch recently and watched various rewards be received at huge award ceremonies. As an AbleGamers team, we are already working on what our 2022 looks like and so far, it looks AWESOME. We won’t get into all the EXCITING things that we have lined up, but we wanted to highlight some of the cool stuff that has happened this month, such as winning the *gameHERs Awards Top Charity of the year award!
We had some exciting anniversaries, including Xbox (celebrating 20 years!), GameCube (celebrating 20 years!), Wii (celebrating 15 years!), and more! We have also seen the one-year anniversary of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S!
Speaking of Xbox, the Xbox team is currently working on Color Filters at the system level that can support people with color deficiencies. Developers should still design games with a Second Channel in mind so that players can Distinguish this from that, but this is a great move from Xbox to create an extra layer of support in the case that a game doesn’t include great color options.
We are finally seeing accessibility being developed from the start and not as an afterthought. It really shows in some of the experiences that we are enjoying now… We have had the honor of working with some amazing studios over the last 2 years and can’t wait for some of the upcoming titles that AbleGamers has impacted to launch. Technically, we can’t talk about these titles and the developers that we’ve been supporting, but we’ll just say: next year is going to be a good year for some awesome games with some great accessibility!
Forza 5 launched with some great accessibility options, including controller remapping, subtitles, extra steering options and even being able to change the speed of the game! Also, shoutout to the fantastic car designer that gave us so many fancy creations to look at! (Our personal favorites: The AbleGamers Brazil car and the CIPT cars!) Forza is now available in stores and via Xbox Game Pass.
The multiplayer portion of Halo Infinite launched, and it filled our Slack channels with discussions about Halo Mountain Dew and arguments over the best game modes. Halo Infinite also launched with a lot of accessibility options and design choices proving that the developers have thought about accessibility from the start. Halo Infinite includes controller button remapping and a lot of ways to customize the visuals on screen like the crosshair, enemy color, reticle size, captions and more. Halo’s Multiplayer is now available for free on Xbox Consoles and PC. The paid campaign is scheduled to launch on December 8th!
The Game Awards will be highlighting and crowning the “Innovation in Accessibility” award this year. The nominated games are Far Cry 6, Forza, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and The Vale: Shadow of the Crown. We’ve had the honor of working with most of these studios and are thrilled to see their efforts get highlighted on such a big stage! The Game Awards will be live on December 9th! You can vote for the winner and find out more information at www.thegameawards.com
To start things off, The AbleGamers Charity won the Top Charity of the Year award from The *gameHERs awards! Check out our Director of Engineering Jessie Hall accepting the award on our behalf of the team! Jessie was also on the PinkPixels show talking about our mission and her work with the engineering team.
The Windows Team has chosen AbleGamers as the beneficiaries of their Minesweeper Ugly Sweater!
Microsoft will be donating $100,000 in support of our mission to combat social isolation and enable play for disabled gamers.
You can pick yours up in the Xbox Gear shop!
The Sweaters are so awesome, they’ve inspired us to finally take our Halloween decorations down.
In other news, we have expanded our team once again and brought on Roger Brooks and Andy Wu. They will be leading our Peer-Counseling efforts in big ways directly supporting players, hospitals, and facilities around the world! Our team will also be supporting the developers of Care Jam, as they develop game experiences around the topic of Care.
Our Professional Development team has been training and certifying EVEN MORE developers in our Certified APX class and our User Research team is hard at work supporting studios’ needs for feedback around accessibility in their upcoming projects. If you are a developer looking to make your studio’s projects more accessible, check out our resources at accessible.games.
Monthly Community Highlights
Our friends at Face Jam and Voodoo Ranger teamed up to create a shirt for the FaceJam podcast that supports our mission! You can pick yours up at the Rooster Teeth store! Check out the Face Jam podcast on your favorite podcasting apps to learn more about Chicago Style Pizza in Colorado or the details on the Applebee’s Cheetos Boneless Wings.
A big congratulations to Steve Saylor, who is Twitch’s newest Ambassador! You can catch Steve Saylor on his Twitch channel, as well as on the front page of Twitch all this week as he shares his gaming experiences and advocates for accessibility and inclusion!
Top 5 Fundraisers for November!
We had some amazing support from the fundraising communities, here are our top 5 fundraisers for November!
Want to fundraise in support of our mission? Either create your own campaign with your community or participate and tune into an event like The Boomie Bob Sea of Thieves community event or The Raids of Love stream.
We know there’s still a month in 2021 left, but we are eagerly awaiting 2022 and beyond.
As our founder Mark Barlet said in a recent Uprox Interview:
“A story that I really want told is not about our history, but of our future.” We told you we finally took our Halloween decorations down..
Happy Holidays from the AbleGamers Team!
P.S. What a cool sweater Mark!