Forza Horizon 5 is adding American and British Sign Language this week

Forza Horizon 5 is adding American Sign Language and British Sign Language to its 300-something cutscenes this week. Playground Games originally announced in November that the feature would be implemented, with creative director Mike Brown saying it was “a priority to incorporate accessibility features” into the game.

A free update arriving on March 1 will add both languages as a choice for Forza Horizon 5’s cinematics. While the game (like many) already has subtitles, plain text can make it difficult to convey tone, enthusiasm and emotions. Not only can on-screen signers help bring those things to life, but reading captions can often cause fatigue for those whose first language is ASL or BSL as they’re structured differently to English.

“We actually learned that although we think subtitles are great and help everyone, they actually aren’t that helpful for people that are deaf or hard of hearing who rely on signing,” Forza Horizon 5 producer Tarnya Smith said. “It was a big wake up call for us, and then we realised that this was something we’re really passionate about and we could really break that boundary and push forward.”

(Image credit: Playground Games)

Cameron Akitt, one of the hard of hearing consultants present throughout Forza Horizon 5’s development, explained how “it’s a really tiring experience, not being able to access your first language.” Akitt said: “including sign language is about enabling more deaf and hard of hearing people to have ownership over their gaming experience.”

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