Developers can now send their games to Microsoft to test its accessibility

Microsoft has now expanded its Xbox Accessibility Guidelines, and is now offering to assess developers’ games to see how accessible they are.

The announcement comes via an Xbox Wire blog post, in which Microsoft laid out the improvements made to its guidelines, and its commitment to improving accessibility in games.

“Developers now have the option to send Microsoft their Xbox or PC title and have it analyzed and validated against the recommendations provided in the XAGs,” reads the post. “Where issues are found, they are noted with reproduction steps, screenshots, and other information to help the developer understand what aspect of a given experience may be challenging for certain gamers with disabilities.

“[The Xbox team] also wanted to make sure that developers understood the potential impact of a given issue on our gamers. To that end, the reports include additional information such as links to gaming accessibility and inclusive design documentation, non-profits and industry-recognized subject matter experts, platform-specific technical documentation, and more.”

Microsoft stressed the point that the program includes gamers with disabilities as part of the testing process.

“Every test pass includes members of the Gaming & Disability Community to not only run test cases against games, but to provide their feedback and insights as well.”

The post also outlines other improvements made to the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines, which were first launched in January 2020, in order to provide additional context and clarification.

The improvements to the guidelines include:

Removing overly technical terms from the guidelines having clear “goal” statements, underlining the importance of each guideline, high-level questions to identify if certain elements are present in a game, a list of key areas to target, additional background and foundational information and implementation guideline examples.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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