A newly published patent from EA looks at improving text-to-speech systems to allow more players to play text-heavy titles like older RPGs.
A new patent from EA has been published that shows the company is looking to expand the accessibility of its games. The patent looks to revolutionize text-to-speech technology to better help players enjoy text-heavy upcoming EA titles.
There have been a lot of new features and systems being developed across the games industry in an effort to make games as accessible to as many players as possible. Companies like Sony have implemented a variety of new accessibility features to help players overcome difficulty levels or a variety of physical disabilities. EA’s patent, however, would allow players who have difficulty reading text to better experience text-based games like older RPGs without voice acting.
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The patent looks to do this through an improvement to text-to-speech technology that would allow the system to translate subtitles or dialogue text to voiced lines complete with performances and emotional inflections. The patent’s theoretical system would even identify the different characters within a title and assign each of them their own unique voice to help players differentiate between who is speaking. While this likely will not have a big impact on some of EA’s biggest titles like Apex Legends, it would have a big impact on smaller titles that do not have the budget for voice acting.
Interestingly, the patent also explores the possibility of the system being customizable for players. The options the patent lists are players being able to customize the language, accent, volume, length of pauses, or various other aspects of the added speech. The patent also looks at allowing players to set the system to add in other features as well like having it add ambient or environmental sound effects behind the voice lines it produces. The patent is published as many other companies are putting efforts into increasing accessibility in their games, like Xbox’s upcoming features announced as part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
It is good to see companies investing in new systems and methods to allow more players to experience their games like Insomniac Games’ upcoming Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. EA’s newest patent looks as though it could open the doors to a lot of older RPGs for more players. Patents don’t always lead to any new system or feature developments, but it will be interesting to see if this patent does lead to anything. Hopefully, the ideas in this patent do come to fruition as it would be a big benefit to a lot of players.
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