Remember those times in the early 2000s when our only source of mobile phone gaming entertainment was the snake and ladder game on Nokia mobile phones? For PC users, life might have been a little different with a variety of video games available, one of the most popular ones being Grand Theft Auto, Mario & Sonic.
When GTA two was first released in 1991, it was only supported on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, and Dreamcast. Today, the same updated version supports more versions including Xbox 360 and Xbox One, accommodating multiple languages like traditional Chinese, Russian, German, French, Polish, Korean, Latin American English, etc. this development occurred due to popular demand.
Games either adapted multiple languages for improved user experience, or the great customer loyalty triggered the company to localize and support more languages. No matter what the reasoning might be, we cannot deny that video game localization is undeniably necessary to impact the gamers of today’s world.
What is Video Game Localization?
The general definition of localization means adapting to the cultural changes of any specific region, which involves translation into multiple languages. Similarly, game adaptation is the process of internationalization and linguistic adaptation of any game originally from English to many other languages to gain exposure and increase sales.
We find gamers invested in all kinds of entertainment sources, they would play any game genre given the text, dialogues, and features of the game are not only enjoyable but also relatable. Game testers play a crucial role here, in modifying and quality checking game content, localization properties, graphics, gameplay theme, and much more to ensure every gamer remains hooked. Besides reporting bugs, they check whether translations, voice-overs and subtitles are perfectly synced.
Video Game localization is a little different from general localization since every element of the game needs to be translated with intricate details. Besides translators, we need an entire localization team involved who is also updated with the general understanding of a gamer’s mind to please their imagination and gaming experience.
Why is it important?
A game should be tailored according to how it fits the gamer. In simple words, localization is an essential aspect for the creators, besides the general software development and graphics enhancement, to make a difference and target the best possible results through sales for their audience base.
Let us learn how video game localization stands necessary to expand global reach and more;
Increase in Download Volume
Localizing means improving the gaming experience through translation and cultural adaptations. Hence, your market reach would widen via an increase in the number of downloads if it is easily understandable to more people.
Did you know that every most-played game in the App Store in China is also available in Chinese? In fact, similar trends have been observed in European regions where although people are fluent in English, they prefer gaming in their regional language. It shows how important translating some games is for people to prefer downloading them.
The gaming experience is the most important thing ever. Why do you think Red Dead Redemption is so popular? Besides graphics, the gaming experience, storyline, and actual content of the game matter a lot. The same goes for Metro Exodus. It has an English version, but originally it was released in Russian. The Russian localized version is so good that even native English speakers prefer playing it in Russian.
For gamers, the only thing that can persuade them to play again and keep playing it, even purchasing the DLC, is the overall experience. By localizing your game, you can improve experience ratings. The happier your users are, the more it will be downloaded.
Statistically, games released in English can reach only 27% of the total global gaming audience. Since the remaining 73% are mostly concentrated in the Asia Pacific region, they dominate the gaming market and draw out the demand for games that also have Japanese or Chinese versions.
When you target the global market, consider localizing your games in at least five languages- Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian, and German. However, this can reach 90 million world gamers only. You need to localize more to achieve the 100% factor.
Participate in Global Competition
This is a tough world with tougher competition where every industry has a unique marketing strategy. Their means go beyond video game localization, prioritizing multiple approaches to reach the audience.
For example, in the gaming industry, you count among the 2.2 million gaming apps in the store. What makes you think people would prefer to download and play your game over the others? Localization! Make content relatable, understandable, and easily comprehensible in multiple regional languages. Only then can you fight the global competition and strengthen your position in the gaming market.
What has to be localized?
From a gamer’s point of view, these essential elements would have to be localized, depending on the game genre to achieve the above-mentioned objectives;
- Dialogues, captions, and subtitles during the gameplay and also cutscenes
- Character information, player statistics, map names, item names, NPC
- Instructions, guides, and prompts
- Adaptation for multiplayer gaming mode
- Dialogues among players
- Quest-related details and text information
- Gaming world content
As a company, MoniSa Enterprise is proud to claim that all our translators and linguistic experts have been swimming in a vast sea of knowledge for years now. Their expertise in every service performed is unmatched, more than enough to localize games and perfectly suit the gaming experience needs of the target audience. Get in touch with our team to know how you can make your game go global with video game localization services!