Hearthstone was made more accessible mostly through its community, with one mod being integral for blind and low-vision players. It was called Access, letting you play with a screen reader and keyboard commands, but its developer GuideDev has announced that support is ending.
As reported by PC Gamer, they wrote, "Carrying Hearthstone Access on my back all this time has become increasingly difficult and the time has come for me to take a step back. I really, really hate to be doing this, but the last few months have been extremely busy and I've been seriously struggling to keep up with everything."
In light of this, fans petitioned Blizzard to better accessibility itself, especially with fortnightly updates that make modding a herculean task, even with direct support. In light of this, Blizzard posted a response, stating that it's "made the decision to shift [its] work in this area" from complementing Access to implementing its own native accessibility features.
One of the first improvements being made is finally separating sound sliders so that you can adjust music, effects, dialogue, and ambience individually. This is coming alongside a new Mono Sound option, which will help with implementing screen reading support.
"A project of this magnitude and importance will take time to complete," Blizzard stated. "We're very sorry to our friends and players who won't have access to Hearthstone during this time. If you have further accessibility feedback, you can contact us at [email protected]"
A petition for native accessibility features in light of Access' support ending gained 2,177 signatures, with many backers voicing frustration that Blizzard had left the work to a modder rather than implementing native accessibility support. "It's time for Blizzard to understand that we, blind people, are also capable of playing videogames," one backer wrote. "An effort to make Hearthstone natively accessible is the least."
On the Reddit page, fans campaigned for Blizzard to do the same, with many commenters sharing a similar sentiment. "Odd that Blizzard is not the one providing enough accessibility options," one person wrote.
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