The colorblind filters debuting in Tekken 8 went viral on Twitter, receiving plenty of praise for its unique approach toward being a more accessible fighting game. Unfortunately, disabled players who are colorblind have expressed discomfort with these filters, some even experiencing vertigo and migraines. While a positive move on the developer’s part, the colorblind filters might do more harm than good based on recent responses.
One of the colorblind filters in Tekken 8, featuring no color and vertical black lines, started trending on Twitter on Wednesday, December 27, pulling in millions of views. The poster marveled at how “literally no game has done this” before with colorblind accessibility. Many gamers joined in to praise the steps developers Bandai Namco and Arika have taken to accommodate disabled fighting game players. However, according to some actual colorblind gamers, “most colorblind [filters] suck.”
“This looks horrible,” expressed one gamer on Twitter. “My eyes hurt. As a colorblind person, this is NOT it.”
As the post blew up over Twitter and was shared, many gamers unknowingly were affected by the short clip. The accessibility lead at EA, Morgan Baker, had been tagged on the post and inadvertently got an “aura migraine” after viewing the filter.
Accessibility specialist Ian Hamilton had grave concerns about the clip, urging the game’s director, Katsuhiro Harada, to remove the striped colorblind filter before Tekken 8’s release because it “may hospitalize players.”
In a later post, Harada explained his team “received positive feedback from many demo play participants” over the colorblind filters, but admitted that these options won’t “address the color vision of all players in the world.” Moreover, the team intends to expand upon them, but research is ongoing on what’s best to implement.