Last week’s release of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy disappointed many, including deaf and hard-of-hearing gamers, by not including subtitles in the games’ many spoken cut scenes. Now, Activision’s justification for that decision is angering many for seeming insensitivity to the needs of the community.
An Activision spokesperson gave the following statement to British site GamePitt when asked about the issue (the company was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment from Ars Technica):
When Toys For Bob set out to make an awesome game collection, there were certain decisions that needed to be made throughout the process. The team remained committed to keep the integrity and legacy of Spyro that fans remembered intact. The game was built from the ground up using a new engine for the team (Unreal 4) and was localized in languages that had not previously been attempted by the studio. While there’s no industry standard for subtitles, the studio and Activision care about the fans’ experience especially with respect to accessibility for people with different abilities, and will evaluate going forward.
As GameCritics’ Brad Gallaway phrased it on Twitter, many are taking the statement as Activision “basically saying ‘we evaluated whether it was worth the cost and effort to keep Deaf and HH players happy, and we decided that it wasn’t.'”