In recent years, with the advent of globalization, it has become a norm for game developers to target multiple markets for their games. To get the best results when targeting foreign markets, analyzing the market potential of your game, while also ensuring that your game is appropriate for the target market is essential. Game localization solution plays a key part in the success of your game in the global market.
Different regions speak different languages and people will only download a game or enjoy the gaming experience if it is in their language. But is game localization only about translation? The answer is no.
There is a great deal of difference between translation and localization. Unlike translation, game localization is not just limited to converting the game content from one language to another. Changing the slang, altering the idioms, and replacing the soundtrack and music to fit the regional markets are all important aspects of game localization.
This blog aims to highlight 5 ways you can localize your game to succeed in the global marketplace, but before that let us go through some of the challenges that are present in localizing your game.
Lost in translation – The Challenges of Game Localization
If developers are not careful, there are some localization challenges which can set you back. Lack of context, inefficient processes, lack of time for QA (Quality Assurance), and insufficient budget allocation all play a role in the failure of your game in the global market. At the same time, if localization is done properly, it is quite easy to capture the hearts of your gaming audience and create lifelong loyalty.
With all the benefits that localization can bring, you would think developers will not cut corners but unfortunately this is exactly what happens. Many developers do not place a lot of importance on game localization, which results in sub-par games that don’t meet market standards and cannot entertain audiences across multiple geographies.
To avoid falling into the same pitfall, you should be aware of localization mistakes.
5 Steps to localize your game
Now that you understand the importance of localization, here are some ways you can localize your game.
1. Develop a localization strategy
Having a step-by-step guide that details your target audience, what can be translated and what needs to be left untouched etc., goes a long way in ensuring that the localization process is completed without a hitch. Research and Analysis of the target audience also plays a key role in developing the localization strategy.
2. Prepare a Lockit
A Lockit or Localization Kit is essential when you are planning to localize your game. It includes all the documents needed to provide linguistic assistance to the translators and helps them to use the appropriate localized terms while translating. You can include everything from the technicalities of your game’s settings and different plot elements to game industry terminologies in your lockit.
3. Choose the right localization tool
With the increasing need for game localization services , many localization platforms which are designed to automate localization tasks have come up. 5 of the best tools for game localization are I2 Localization, Bad Language filter, SmartCAT, ChatMapper and Font Creator by High Logic. Choosing the right localization platform can help you facilitate localization faster and more efficiently.
4. Game Translation
The translation stage of localization is the most important one. In this stage, the textual and non-textual elements of the game that need to be localized are separated and imputed into a Translation Management System (TMS) for easy processing. Once the required information is in the TMS, the translator can use the LocKit to translate the data as per the game’s context. While the translator works on the textual elements, another team will work on the non-textual elements which need to be localized such as the characters clothes, backgrounds, and other elements of the game.
5. Quality Assurance
The final stage of game localization QA is essential to reach your game globally. Once the translation is done, it needs to be checked for errors and then imputed back into the game for a final check with all the localized elements in place. In this stage, functional and usability tests are conducted to ensure that the different elements properly integrate.
In addition to the above steps there are some best practices you need to follow while localizing your game. Double-check everything, ensure that you provide as much context as possible for the translators, let your translation team play the game, do linguistic tests, and keep an eye on the design. With patience and a well-planned strategy, localization is a straightforward process, and you will be rewarded with a global audience who are loyal to your game.
If you are still worried about localizing your game, then you can partner with a game localization company that can manage the entire localization process for you.