Most reviews for the Spyro Reignited Trilogy popped up last week (I reviewed it here) and in general were quite positive. So you’d be justified in feeling a little confused to see the game trending again on social media yesterday and for a lot of the comments to be negative. Well, if you haven’t followed the news several players noticed that subtitles are not available during the game’s cinematic cutscenes. It is something I must admit I missed during the review, and while it may not seem like a big deal for everyone, it is justifiably a real issue of concern for many. Not only do many players enjoy enabling subtitles as a matter of personal preference, but other gamers who are deaf or hard of hearing (amongst others) depend on subtitles as their sole method of engaging with dialogue (and therefore story) in their games. So it is even more important that these are available during narrative cutscenes.
It has set Reddit and Twitter ablaze over the last 48 hours or so. UK Gaming site Gamepitt actually picked up on this omission during their review and contacted Toys for Bob and Activision for a statement and a spokesperson from Activision said:
“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 you can tell the statement is pretty non-committal and hence has received substantial backlash. It seems rather absurd that this should be such a major issue especially when certain gameplay elements do contain on-screen text:
It seems like an issue both Activision and Toys for Bob should’ve anticipated and it is only right that they seem to be getting quite a lot of flak for not considering this very basic accessibility factor.