Do you wonder how a single game is released in different countries in their respective languages? The process used is called Game Localization. Game localization enables developers to tailor the game experience to match the audience for which it’s intended. Game localization includes everything from translating the game into new languages, to eliminating elements from a game that other cultures might not bear in their entertainment content. It is very necessary to translate and localize your video game in the right way.
Appropriately understand the markets you want to enter: You might have a list of the most profitable gaming industries and markets, but that doesn’t certainly mean your game is appropriate for those markets. You should keep these things in mind:
- Plan your research: Learn about the gaming industry in all the countries where you want to launch your game, including the popular genres and style of games popular there.
- Discover if the market has the required money to spend: A country with a wide number of native speakers doesn’t always relate to localization success. Check whether the potential players can afford to buy your game and whether they would spend money for the game purchases.
- Discuss with local gamers: You’ll gain the best market understanding and feedback by going straight to the gamers. Whether through focus groups, surveys, interviews, in-person or video conferencing. Associating with local gamers can help you decide whether the market is right for you to enter or not.
Pay attention towards the cultural norms: Cultural mistakes can prove to be costly for both video game publishers and developers. It can lead to lost revenue, damage to their corporate image and negative public relations. So carefully pay attention to:
- Historical Accuracy: History is a constraining topic, so most game creators and developers often relate to the historical events of other cultures to correlate with players. Many cultures are protective towards their historical legacy. By including an inaccurate representation of a historic event, you will open your game to a strong criticism.
- Religion and Belief Systems: Some games have the source elements of religion within their storylines to add excitement for players, but they don’t understand how these religious references can affect players in another country. It can hinder sales and cause a negative reaction from an entire culture. Smart developers understand how other cultures may be annoyed by sensitive themes, characters or objects within their game.
Localizing a game properly takes some extra work, but if you have a great game that international audiences will love and enjoy, it could be a rewarding attempt.
Have you ever done game localization? Do you have anything to share with us regarding it? Share with us in the comments section!
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