Post-launch update for Forza Horizon 5 will add sign language interpreters

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,661   +1,128
Staff member
In context: Video game companies have spent a lot more time adding accessibility features to their titles recently. As the industry has expanded demographically, the need to make games playable for those with various impairments has become apparent. Forza Horizons 5 will soon be the first game to offer ASL and BSL interpretation.

Last week, Studio Playground Games announced it would soon bring on-screen sign language interpreters to Forza Horizons 5 cut scenes. The feature will display translators in the lower right corner of the screen using the traditional picture-in-picture style. Playground Games Creative Director Mike Brown mentioned that the interpreters are skilled in both American and British sign language, and there will be a preference toggle in the settings menu.

"The team is excited to share we are also working on American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) support for cinematics in Forza Horizon 5," Brown said. "Coming soon, this feature will include a picture-in-picture display near the bottom of the screen of an ASL/BSL interpreter during the cinematics in the game."

Sign-language interpretation will not be ready by launch, but Brown promised it was "coming soon" in a later update. However, the game should have several other accessibility features on release, including high contrast mode, color blindness mode, a screen reader, text-to-speech and speech-to-text in chat, a game speed modification setting, and more. Don't worry. Subtitles will still be available, and players will have more control over their appearance, including size and background opacity.

"We want everyone in the world to be able to experience our game, and with more than an estimated 400 million gamers with disabilities across the globe, it is vital that all players be able to tailor their gameplay in a way that works best for them," Brown noted.

Although the game has yet to launch, more than one million players have already been racking up top speeds for a few days now. Those who bought the Premium Edition or the Premium Add-Ons Bundle got early access on November 5. The rest of us can join them starting tomorrow, November 9.

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kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,305   +953
So... for all of those deaf/hard of hearing people who also can't read?

I smell "gimmick"....
You are probably right - but it still brings awareness . People enjoy being recognised and not sidelined .
So there is nothing negative here - if someone gets annoyed , angry about this - they should ask themselves why ? do they get angry at apples , at words starting with M ?

I don't mind subtitles - prefer subtitles to foreign movies to bad dubs by far ,

However a human signing is probably more immersive for them
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,982
You are probably right - but it still brings awareness . People enjoy being recognised and not sidelined .
So there is nothing negative here - if someone gets annoyed , angry about this - they should ask themselves why ? do they get angry at apples , at words starting with M ?

I don't mind subtitles - prefer subtitles to foreign movies to bad dubs by far ,

However a human signing is probably more immersive for them
Don't see how it could be more immersive as it would have to be picture-in-picture.... subtitles at least inhabit the same frame...

I don't mind inclusiveness... I just don't see how this "includes" anyone who wasn't already "included"... Considering the expense of adding this - and in two different languages yet - this must surely be so they can say "see, we have sign language!".
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
Lol, next we will be getting fully narrated games so blind people can play them.

Which actually tbf isn’t as silly as it sounds. I used to teach scuba diving for years and I’ve taught blind people a few times. And not just legally blind, some literally had 0 vision. This sounds absurd as scuba diving renders almost all your senses apart from sight void. But they get to feel what it’s like to be underwater and they were always smiling by the end of the day.

 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,661   +1,128
Staff member
Lol, next we will be getting fully narrated games so blind people can play them.

Which actually tbf isn’t as silly as it sounds. I used to teach scuba diving for years and I’ve taught blind people a few times. And not just legally blind, some literally had 0 vision. This sounds absurd as scuba diving renders almost all your senses apart from sight void. But they get to feel what it’s like to be underwater and they were always smiling by the end of the day.
Indeed. I still vividly remember the first time I found myself breathing underwater at the bottom of a 15-foot pool. The feeling is indescribable other than to say it had nothing to do with my vision.
 

envirovore

Posts: 533   +982
TechSpot Elite
Okay then..I guess I'll do this again...

If you think this is just a PR stunt or such then perhaps you should consider that a majority of deaf people prefer sign language for many reasons. It's easier and faster for them to understand, it can relay context that is not easily apparent via the interpreter alone, and considering that sign language is not english (nor are the two languages even structured the same) it isn't even a direct comparison.

That good enough to keep posted now mods?