Activision To “Evaluate” Spyro’s Missing Subtitles

This week’s chart topper, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, has upset people as subtitles are not available during the cut scenes. There are subtitles when talking to NPC’s during the game but the are noticeably absent elsewhere, meaning deaf gamers cannot follow the story.

Activision have released a statement which seems to suggest that keeping “the integrity and legacy of Spyro” intact was more important than accessibility, which seems rather odd.


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.

A number of deaf gamers have criticised the move and the story has been picked up by the BBC.

Source: Gamepit

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  1. Ouch. Forgetting about accessibility is one thing. But trying to make it sound like they had good reason to do so is really embarrassing.

    And, by the way, of course there’s a standard which requires subtitles. It’s WCAG, and it’s applicable to all software and electronic documents, and there’s no reason not to apply it to games too.

  2. I was watching The 90’s Mummy on Netflix the other day and that too didn’t have any subtitles for the Egyptian parts. Luckily i’ve Seen the movie so many times, I knew exactly what they were saying. But somebody should like totally sue Netflix, seriously.

    • Someone _did_ sue Netflix about 7 years ago for not providing closed captions. (Or “subtitles” if you want. It’s a subtle difference in the US. Subtitles are just dialogue, closed captions cover all sound.)

      The case was dismissed a few years later as the Americans with Disabilities Act apparently doesn’t apply online.

      They also struggled with legal issue around getting the subtitles once they supported them. They need to be provided by the copyright holder, or have permission from the copyright holder for Netflix to do them themselves.

      I think they’re generally good at it now. Any time I’ve had to look at subtitle and language options (because Netflix likes to default to dubbed versions of foreign content), there have always been a whole bunch of subtitle options, usually with English (for when you can’t speak foreign) and English CC (for deaf people).

      They’ve also had complaints about a lack of audio description options for blind people.

      But all this stuff is simple and absolutely should be provided whenever possible. Presumably no legal issues with Activision doing it for all of their games, so their excuses are somewhat puzzling.

      What’s also puzzling is is why anyone would be watching the 90’s Mummy on Netflix.

      Oh, hang on. Brendan Fraser. Does sometimes look quite nice, which is just as well because he’s never been in anything good, has he?

      • He was in the movie Crash back in 2004/5 (I believe) which won quite a few awards. I think he played Sandra Bullock’s husband. They get robbed by Ludacris and one of his homeboys.

        Definitely not eye candy – I always thought he looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame (without the hunchback obvs). So basically just the Man of Notre Dame – with the face of the Hunchback.

        And what’s wrong with the 90’s Mummy? Much better than the dreadful Tom Cruise movie. The sequels were pretty awful though, I’ll give you that. Give me B&W Boris Karloff any day. 1930’s The Mummy FTW.

        As for the missing subtitles – I’m sure they’ll patch them in eventually. I see no reason for anyone to get their knickers in a twist.

        It’s not like the dialogue is particularly riviting in the Spyro games anyway. Just read a synopsis online and you’ll know everything there is to know.

      • Yay! Old Universal monster movies are the best.

        Speaking of which, he was in God and Monsters, the film about James Whale, the director of the 1930whatever Frankenstein. With Ian McKellen. Produced by Clive Barker. So obviously the gayest film ever. That was one of the ones that counts as “sometimes looks quite nice”.

        But 90’s Mummy is just shit. I’m sure it’s probably better than anything with Tom Cruise though. But that’s not saying much.

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