Accessibility leaders are using Star Wars Jedi: Survivor to highlight the importance of easy modes for huge numbers of players.
Yesterday, EA released stats about Star Wars Jedi Survivor that confirmed, among other things, that nearly 500 players had died to the game's weakest 'boss'. Those stats also revealed things like the community's favourite lightsaber color, the most popular cosmetic choices for Cal, and how many people played on each of the game's five difficulty options.
The vast majority of Star Wars Jedi Survivor players used the equivalent of normal mode - 'Jedi Knight' difficulty sits in the middle of the curve, and more than 52% of players chose to enjoy the game that way. Around 15% of players picked the choices on either side - the slight adjustments of the easier 'Padawan' and more difficult 'Master' modes.
While 4% opted for the most difficult 'Grand Master' choice, however, 14.5% went for the easiest option, Story Mode. That number is not only more than GM, but also very slightly more than the 14% that went for Master, and those figures are being paid plenty of attention by leading figures in the gaming accessibility scene.
Huh, so 14.5% of players went on "Easy Mode". And only 4% on the hard mode? Who's the minority now who thinks easy mode is ruining video games? I'll wait... https://t.co/zETFze5BgwJune 1, 2023
When given the choice, 47.5% chose a difficulty other than the default; 14.5% choose the easiest, while 4% went the hardest.The evidence shows players enjoy difficulty settings and are, in fact, not ruining video games. PEOPLE LOVE BABY-ASS BABY MODE, DEAL WITH IT. https://t.co/nNq7L15zawJune 1, 2023
Steven Spohn, senior director at accessibility charity Able Gamers, pointed out that "the evidence shows players enjoy difficulty settings and [they] are, in fact, not ruining video games." Elsewhere, accessibility consultant Steve Saylor, asked "who's the minority now? Who thinks easy mode is ruining video games?"
The discussion about the stats on the Fallen Order subreddit points out that Grand Master isn't a particularly well-balanced difficulty option, especially not for first playthroughs. While some players are celebrating being part of the 4%, many also acknowledge that intense enemy damage, particularly in some optional side content, is "indicative of it being an intended New Game + difficulty."
Others outlined how spending multiple hours on certain boss fights simply isn't an experience that many players are looking for. While not deliberately backing up Spohn and Saylor's points, there's certainly a contingent of the fanbase that sees the value in other ways to play.
Jedi: Survivor already had millions of players just weeks after launch - which is a lot of Padawans.