The 2021 Video Game Accessibility Awards has just unveiled its list of nominees with a wide, diverse spread of games being celebrated and no single title running away with dozens of nominations.
Several games received nominations in two categories, including Before Your Eyes, Unpacking, Halo Infinite, Far Cry 6, Back 4 Blood, It Takes Two, and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart.
The winners will be announced on March 12, 2022, on a livestream hosted by Accessibility Awards co-creators Steven Spohn and Alanah Pearce [Disclosure: Alanah Pearce is a former member of IGN’s editorial content team].
The awards show was founded last year in partnership with Able Gamers to celebrate games that push the bar of accessibility and enable more players with diverse needs to enjoy games. The judging panel is made up entirely of disabled gamers, and its categories are based on accessibility guidelines created by Able Gamers as tools for game developers.
“My goal when I created the awards show was to celebrate developers who are making significant strides in accessibility, as a thank you to those studios, but also in the hopes that it would encourage other studios to get involved,” Pearce said. “If there’s an awards show for something and it has some visibility, I figure more studios are likely to try to strive to be included, thus raising the bar for accessibility across the board. We’re also inherently educating any developers who might watch the show on what the different categories do, thus hopefully encouraging different accessibility needs to be considered earlier on in development cycles.
2021 Video Game Accessibility Awards Nominees
“I’m definitely not going to pretend that any facet of game development is easy, let alone accessibility options, but it certainly is easier if it’s considered from the start, rather than added towards the end of development as an afterthought. The more people know about a variety of accessibility needs now, the more likely they are to include features that cater to them in their games. I’m not going to hide that that’s my agenda with creating the show – I want more developers to include more accessibility options in their games.”
The nominees for the 2021 Video Game Accessibility Awards are as follows:
Second Channel – For games that give players a second means or interface to get the information they may need to progress.
Before Your Eyes – GoodbyeWorld Games, Skybound GamesUnpacking – Witch Beam, Humble BundleGuardians of the Galaxy – Eidos-Montréal, Square Enix
Clear Text – For games that allow players to reliably read text in the game or its interfaces.
Boyfriend Dungeon – Kitfox GamesLoop Hero – Four Quarters, Devolver DigitalHalo Infinite – 343 Industries, Xbox Game Studios
Input Reduction – For games that allow players to decrease the amount of input reduction needed to successfully undertake a sequence of actions required by the game.
Before Your Eyes – GoodbyeWorld Games, Skybound GamesFights in Tight Spaces – Ground Shatter, Mode 7 GamesEscape From Tarkov – Battlestate Games
AI Assistance – For games that allow players to progress through challenges with assistance from in-game AI.
Forza Horizon 5 – Playground Games, Xbox Game StudiosFar Cry 6 – Ubisoft Toronto, UbisoftPsychonauts 2 – Double Fine, Xbox Game Studios
Improved Precision – For games that allow players to increase or decrease things like movement sensitivity so that they may be precise with their actions in the game or its interfaces.
Chivalry 2 – Torn Banner Studios, Tripwire InteractiveFar Cry 6 – Ubisoft Toronto, UbisoftBack 4 Blood – Turtle Rock Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Peer Assistance – For games that allow players to progress through challenges presented by the game with assistance from another player.
It Takes Two – Hazelight Studios, Electronic ArtsAge of Empires IV – Relic Entertainment, World’s Edge, Xbox Game StudiosBack 4 Blood – Turtle Rock Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Remapping – For games that allow players to remap or reconfigure standard control figurations.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart – Insomniac Games, Sony Interactive EntertainmentIt Takes Two – Hazelight Studios, Electronic ArtsFinal Fantasy XIV: Endwalker – Square Enix
Training Grounds – For games that give players a place or means to increase their skill level outside on their own time, outside of the usual means of training used by the game.
Halo Infinite – 343 Industries, Xbox Game StudiosMonster Hunter Rise – CapcomBack 4 Blood – Turtle Rock Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Ability to Bypass – For games that allow players to bypass or skip sections that they are unable to successfully engage with.
Life Is Strange: True Colors – Deck Nine, Square EnixRatchet and Clank: Rift Apart – Insomniac Games, Sony Interactive EntertainmentUnpacking – Witch Beam, Humble Bundle
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.