Beyond Words: Video Game Localization for Foreign Markets

lokalizatsiya videoigr dlya inostrannyh rynkov Beyond Words: Video Game Localization for Foreign Markets

Video games have become a truly global phenomenon: users, regardless of their location, enjoy games developed in countries around the world. However, for this, products must be localized, that is, adapted in accordance with the cultural norms and preferences of their target audience.  

Imagine playing a video game in a language you don’t understand, with dialogue that doesn’t make sense and instructions that are difficult to follow. This is the frustrating experience that players in different parts of the world face every day. That’s why video game localization is so important – it allows developers and publishers to create products that will resonate with players in different markets. 

Why video game localization is needed 

Videogame localization is the process of adapting a game to the language, culture, and region of a particular audience. In addition to translating textual content, this process includes voice acting for characters, changing game elements and adapting functionality to local requirements and habits. 

Here are a few reasons why video game localization is important. 

  • Localization allows you to reach new audiences in different countries where these games were not previously available due to language barriers. This leads to increased sales and market expansion. 
  • For story-heavy games, localization of text and voice acting allows players to better understand and enjoy the story.  
  • Cultural differences affect the gaming experience, and video game localization can take these differences into account. For example, adapting a game for the Japanese market may involve changing the characters, styles, and themes of the game to better suit Japanese culture and preferences. 
  • Localization of a video game may also include changes to game mechanics to better suit local requirements and habits. For example, changing the game’s difficulty, local currency, and other game elements improves the gaming experience for targeted players. 

In addition, localization increases brand awareness, creates a deeper connection with the local audience and improves the overall experience of the game. 

Five stages of video game localization 

The video game localization process consists of several steps, which may vary depending on the specific project. 

  1. Planning and evaluation 

The planning phase includes defining the target audience, choosing the languages that will be supported, determining localization requirements, estimating the cost of the project, and agreeing on the time needed to complete it. 

  1. Text translation 

This step involves translators and editors. The translation must be accurate and at the same time effectively convey the meaning of the original text. In the process of localizing a video game, cultural differences and local peculiarities of the language are also taken into account. 

  1. Sound localization 

The stage of scoring dialogues, music, voice and sound effects. This allows you to create a more realistic game world, so that it is easier for gamers to immerse themselves in the game. 

  1. Graphics Localization 

Adapt graphic elements, user interface, menus, icons to match the language and culture of the target audience. 

  1. Testing and adjustment 

This step includes testing the localization of the video game to ensure that all elements are translated and voiced correctly and that they work correctly in all supported languages. After testing, additional adjustments and improvements may be required. 

After localization of a video game is completed and tested, a release is prepared, that is, versions of the game are released for each supported language and culture. 

Each of these stages has its own characteristics and can take from several weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the project. It is important to take into account all aspects of video game localization in order to create a high-quality and adapted multilingual version for different target audiences. 

Who does the localization of the video game 

Because video game localization is a complex multidisciplinary process, translators alone are indispensable. 

As a rule, the following specialists are involved in video game localization projects:  

  • translators, who are responsible for translating and adapting text, including dialogue, descriptions, and other written materials, into the target language; 
  • audio engineers are responsible for localizing game sound effects, music and dialogue; 
  • graphic designers are in charge of adapting the graphics and user interface of the game according to the target audience; 
  • testers are responsible for identifying bugs and shortcomings in a localized game to ensure that all elements have been translated correctly and that the game functions on all supported platforms.  

In addition, game developers and publishers can work with localization project managers, cultural adaptation consultants, and others to maximize game customization for the target market.  

As you can see, the localization of a video game is beyond the power of a simple freelancer or a modest translation agency without experience in this niche. Therefore, do not waste time and money looking for an economical option. Better yet, contact professional localization contractors right away. 

The team of the MK:translations translation company has eight years of experience in the localization of video games, applications, websites, video content, which guarantees the accuracy and high quality of each completed project. It is fashionable to learn more about the company’s services on the website –

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