Before the in-game voice chat and chats were invented, multiplayer games were not exactly having a good time. Then came Apex Legends with its all-new 'ping' system that lets players communicate effectively without having to deal with buffering audio or undecipherable texts.
Other FPS multiplayer games like COD and Fortnite have similar communication systems, but the ping remains the most sophisticated option. Obviously, such innovation has to be patented, and that's what EA did.
However, the developer behind Apex Legends has decided to grant unrestricted access to their popular 'ping' system in the game. The ‘ping’ enables players with mic issues, lag, and live chat problems to communicate effectively by marking locations, positions, stats, and other things.
EA's Accessibility Patent Pledge
In the ‘Accessibility Patent Pledge’, EA has decided to let others use the famed ping system freely. The dev made it clear that there would be no license fees or royalties involved. This will enable other developers to make their games more inclusive, encourage innovation, and put accessibility before anything else.
In addition to the ping system, the patent pledge includes three patents for colourblindness and one patent for better live audio quality for people with hearing difficulties in the game. Developers can copy all these innovations for free. EA has open-sourced the solutions on GitHub and will continue adding to it.
With this move, Electronic Arts have become the first in the industry to make its technology available freely and promote positive play. Further, EA might add more patents under the patent pledge in the near future.