David Tisserand is Project Manager at Ubisoft. He's worked on many of their titles, including the Assassin's Creed franchise, but now specialises in making sure the publisher's games are as accessible to as many people as possible. Whether it's customising a game's user interface, adding compatibility for different controller setups, putting subtitles into the game, or some other important factor, it's Tisserand's specialist area. In a recent twitter thread, he focused on subtitles and just how important they are in games.
Using player data, he revealed that around 60% of Assassin's Creed Origins players had turned on the game's subtitles at some point in 2018. This year, he looked some of the newer titles and revealed some interesting facts about the use of subtitles in their games:
It isn't just this data that shows most players prefer to play with subtitles, as demonstrated by Ian Hamilton at GDC. There are many reasons for turning on subtitles — players may be hard of hearing, they may struggle with the game's language, or with dialects, or it could just be that there's a lot of background noise that makes hearing the game difficult.
- In Far Cry New Dawn, the default option was to have subtitles turned on. Around 97% of players didn't turn them off.
- In Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the default option was to have subtitles turned on. Around 95% of players didn't turn them off.
- Tom Clancy's The Division 2 did not have subtitles turned on by default. Around 75% of players turned them on at least once. At the time of the Twitter thread, around 50% of players still had them turned on.
Many studios are improving the way they implement subtitles in their games and their efforts are being lauded by players. Once considered an option in games, more companies like Ubisoft are realising that subtitles should become an industry standard for as many people to be able to enjoy their games as possible, and that's never a bad thing.
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