Making a game accessible to only a specific region is one of the worst mistakes a developer can make. There are nearly 8 billion people in the world, and you need to get as many of them as possible to play your game. Hence, localization is the best strategy to attract more players.
If you’re looking to get into the world of game localization, this guide is for you. It will show you how to maximize your player base and profits using simple localization techniques.
We’ll cover everything you need to know, from the basics of localization to the more technical aspects of the process. By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to start localizing games yourself!
What is Game Localization?
Game Localization is the process of translating a video game for a market outside of its native country. The localization method encompasses both the globalization and linguistic quality assurance processes.
Localization involves significantly more than simply translating a game’s text. Localizing video games involves linguistic tasks, such as translating the game’s dialogue, extracting strings from code, and incorporating them into a system for localization management.
Important Aspects of Game Localization
Here are the most crucial aspects of the localization process.
The process of translating a game’s text and properties into another language. An individual or a group can perform it.
Editing is the process of correcting style and content errors and ensuring that the language is accurate and consistent.
Proofreading is the process of correcting typographical and spelling errors. This action typically entails working with the text alone instead of working within the game.
Integration is the process of incorporating translated game content, modifying the code to add the translated content to the game, and adjusting the UI/UX to ensure that it appears correctly.
In China, blood, skulls, and religious symbols are prohibited in video games. In Korea, playing with religious themes is frowned upon. In Australia, it is illegal to drink or use drugs while playing sports. Regional adaptation according to the region’s laws, beliefs and customs is an important element of game localization.
You might agree to the Reasons you should outsource Game Localization by at least now. Isn’t it?
Localization Quality Assurance (LQA)
This is the process of verifying the translation’s accuracy and incorporating it into the game.
Include the expense of marketing materials in your budget. This is a supplementary aspect of localization. Localization qa must be addressed in all markets where the game is sold.
The Game Localization Process
Depending on your game size, the regions you’re attempting to reach, and the number of culturally sensitive elements may make the localization process quick and straightforward or lengthy and complicated.
The steps involved in the game localization process are stated below:
1. Development of a localization strategy
To ensure timely and cost-effective completion of your video game localization, careful planning must be done.
This procedure begins with selecting the countries for localization. This should give you an idea of the project scope. It also involves compiling a comprehensive list of non-linguistic and linguistic elements you believe must be modified for each country.
2. Development of a localization toolkit
A localization kit, also known as a “lockit,” is a document that gives a proper understanding of your game to your localization partner. It should include the story’s history, characters, tone, and theme. Your localization partner will be able to work more efficiently and effectively if the lockit is complete.
3. Entrance of string information into a Translation Management System
A Translation Management System (TMS) is a software specially designed to facilitate teamwork on projects in the localization industry.
Utilizing a TMS has numerous advantages, including making translations more consistent, accurate, and rapid.
After your game’s text strings have been extracted, the localization team will be loaded into a TMS by the localization team. This will help to address any project-specific technical requirements and pave the way for the next significant phase.
4. Translation of both non-text and text materials
The Language Service Provider (LSP) or internal team will subsequently work together on the localization.
While translators are taking care of exporting the text strings to the TMS, the non-text elements you’ve selected for localization should be worked upon by another team. The non-text elements may include character clothing (different cultural connotations), backgrounds, and other in-game elements.
5. Localization Quality Assurance (LQA)
Game Localization QA is the final step in translating a video game into another language. A team of experts will meticulously examine the game, test the language, evaluate the interface’s usability, and conduct functional and compliance tests.
The localization process is complete once the game has gone through thorough testing and given the green light by your team.
Benefits of Game Localization
There are numerous benefits to translating video games. Localizing video games enables technology companies to reach as many people as possible across the globe and maximize their profits. Software utilized in multiple nations results in increased downloads, higher app store rankings, and intense competition. Localizing a video game allows creators to retain control over it by preventing others from translating it. These translations may not be as good, harming the game’s international reputation.
Localizing video games is, of course, also beneficial for the player. It allows people worldwide to participate in something technologically astounding. It also prevents players from becoming confused about the plot of a game. When a game is perfectly localized, it helps the players to immerse themselves in the game’s world by allowing them to play it in their own linguistic and cultural context.
Regions And Languages to Consider While Localizing Video Games
The predominant language in the video game industry is English. If it is not your native tongue, you should prioritize learning it. However, what comes next?
The “FIGS” languages of French, Italian, German, and European Spanish are also excellent starting points. They are significant not only because they are spoken in countries with large gaming markets but also because many speak them of individuals outside of their native regions.
We recommend examining your data alongside FIGS languages. Thanks to app stores and online gaming platforms, developers can now access information that was difficult to obtain even a few years ago. By analyzing this data, you should determine which regions enjoy your game and what strategic localization decisions you should make.
Based on revenue, the top ten gaming markets are:
- United States
- South Korea
Because there are so many games in Mandarin Chinese, you might want to begin with it, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Consider the player’s lifetime value in each country, as well as other factors such as the business ease.
Even though India and China have many players, each player spends less than players from other nations on games. This may influence your decision regarding the localization of your game into these languages.
This guide has provided an overview of how game localization works and what you need to consider. By adhering to the steps and recommendations in this guide, developers can ensure that the localization process runs smoothly, thereby improving the game for players worldwide.
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