In an attempt to bring Tekken 8 to as many people as possible, developers Bandai Namco inadvertently introduced a potentially dangerous filter in their accessibility options. The game’s director, Katushiro Harada, has announced that changes will be coming to accessibility options to minimize the risk, reports PC Gamer.
@Harada_TEKKEN you urgently need to remove one of your filters (the striped one), it cannot be present at launch as it may hospitalise players (or worse), in the same way as the infamous Pokémon episode.
— Ian Hamilton (@ianhamilton_) December 27, 2023
The concern was that the striped filter could induce seizures in users with photosensitivity. Users also reported migraines arising from watching a clip of the game with the striped filter active.
Harada took to Twitter/X after a clip of the filter went viral to say that people were taking the filter out of context and that there are a lot of customizable options that had been used to create the effect seen in the original Twitter post. “These color vision options are a rare part of the fighting game genre, but they are still being researched and we intend to expand on them in the future.”
Speaking at the Tekken World Tour 2023 Finals, Harada said “Many people have been talking about the accessibility features in the demo for Tekken 8. That was just a work in progress, so we’ve actually tweaked that quite a bit to try to address some of the issues and to make sure it works better for a wider variety of people.”
It is unclear at this time whether these tweaks are going to be part of Tekken 8 when it launches or whether this will come in a future update, but it is a step in the right direction. Accessibility is a relatively new concern for game developers and the fact that the developers of a huge game franchise like Tekken are taking it seriously and trying to get it right is encouraging for many.
In 2020 Cyberpunk 2077 contained flashing lights and imagery that could trigger seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. After several gamers reported suffering seizures, developer CD Projekt Red apologized and quickly released a software update with a new warning, removed or reduced the flashing effects, and told gamers to be mindful of their health.
While most games don’t require warnings about photosensitive epilepsy risks, Cyberpunk 2077 demonstrated that rapid red-and-white flashing visual effects can directly endanger a small portion of the gaming community.
Featured image credit: Bandai Namco