The advent of video gaming saw the United States dominate the market with an enormous number of video gamers.
However, over time, nations like China, Germany, Japan, and South Korea started producing a large number of video gamers as well.
These nations eventually broke through the gaming scene and ranked among the top five countries that spend on video games the most, with a combined revenue of over 30 billion USD.
Now the obvious thing these nations share is a large population that doesn’t speak English. Hence the aim of this article; is to understand the need for game localization services.
What is Game Localization
Game localization is basically about modifying a game to suit the needs of your customers. These modifications cut across translating, editing, or even redesigning the game to make it a perfect fit with its audience.
Generally, the idea of gaming is relaxation and so it’d be counter-productive for people to play games in a language they do not know.
This is because it sucks to be saddled with the task of finding out the meanings of strange words while playing video games.
For instance, an effective localization technique is to translate the user manual and other materials that will help the customer develop a connection with the game.
Why You Need Game Localization
It would be unrealistic to think that most gamers will know English or even be willing to put out the mental effort necessary to play games in a new language. This is because of the diversity of the gaming community.
Video game localization is the greatest technique to accomplish your aim of distributing your video game to other markets. You may boost sales and expand your user base by localizing your game and adapting it to a new geographic area.
Also, we shouldn’t overlook the popularity of gaming as a hobby. This is because games are now played daily by people of various ages and socioeconomic standing.
Top 4 Game Localization Mistakes
From a business perspective, there’s a popular saying that encourages service providers to see their customers as the business itself.
This implies that a business will attain huge success when the producer meets the needs of the customers.
But how can you satisfy your customers and give your game a wider reach when you don’t get the localization aspect right?
Below are four mistakes you must avoid in game localization:
1. Ignoring the Cultural Factors
Success and longevity in the video game business depend on the industry’s presence in the world market.
Gamers are becoming more savvy and open-minded about their purchases as a result of the new technologies being deployed in the sector.
The influence of word-of-mouth is growing rapidly, therefore a high-quality translation may either enhance or detract from a game’s reputation and sales. Therefore, endeavor to use reputable video game translation services.
However, one important thing to note is that localization isn’t solely about translation. The goal of game localization is to give customers a local feel of the game.
That way the players get to develop a deeper connection as a result of the realism.
For instance, in a Japanese version of a popular game, modifications were made to suit the Japanese culture – the non-player character was removed.
This was done to avoid tension as a result of the game’s relation to the Hiroshima nuclear bombing in WW2.
2. Embedding Texts into Core Files
When you directly embed texts in the source code, translation becomes slow. This is because the translator must perform a thorough scan throughout the document to identify the text passages that need to be translated.
Another thing incorporating a text does is to make software maintenance challenging because a similar string can exist numerous times in the code, requiring all instances to be replaced anytime the string is altered.
Therefore, it is very crucial to avoid incorporating your strings into the code.
3. Making Budget Cuts When Localizing
One thing you mustn’t neglect is that localization of your game is as important as the localization quality if you want to appeal to a wider audience.
Many methods abound for localizing your game, and their prices vary. Although some of them are free, the content can be dubious and that’s risky.
Budget cuts may appear beneficial in the near future, but they will ultimately cost far more. The initial speech or text that players come across gives them an immediate impression of the level of your game.
Employing the services of a reputable game translation company like iXie will result in better localization and significantly increase revenue.
4. Localization is not the Final Phase
Sometimes it’s inevitable for us to want to know the duration of localizing a game.
The common perception among developers when it comes to game translation is that localization ought to happen around the end of the game’s production cycle.
However, for the game’s essence to be kept across languages, localization needn’t be the final phase. Rather it should be regarded as a component of the development cycle.
Giving translators notes for specific parts that need extra attention is also important but time-consuming.
Solutions to Game Localization Problems
Many developers make the initial error of underestimating the significance or scope of localization.
For instance, the US market only represents a portion of the gaming industry. Therefore, localizing your game means you get to have it in other markets thereby giving you more revenue and a customer base.
True localization requires work and time, therefore it’s not something you should put off until a week before release.
You’ll save a lot of time and effort once you’re ultimately prepared if you make sure your game and team are prepared to localize from the start.
Below are some common localization solutions you must have at your fingertips:
- Organize the process beforehand by choosing the languages, deadlines, and budget.
- Using native speakers who truly understand the target language.
- Having explicit instructions ensures that fewer inquiries will be made later on.
- Utilize tools to control the process and guarantee quality while using localization technology.
In terms of game localization, a smart business move would be for developers to take into cognizance the fact that people in different nations have differences across languages, cultural beliefs, and religions.
Neglecting localization is a sure way to make you miss out on a fraction of the market.
Therefore, endeavor to get this challenge out of the way by using multilingual translation services.
That way, your customers get the best experience when you fit your games to meet the needs of their different expectations.
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