The video game industry is constantly growing, and nowadays video game companies find themselves dealing with the obligation to ensure that their product offers the same immersive experience to customers from different regions and cultures. Through this article, you will be given 3 reasons that make localization relevant in game development.
- What does game localization stand for?
- Game localization is important for…
- … avoiding fan translations
- … reaching a wider range of customers
- … making sure your customers feel considered
What does game localization stand for?
Game localization defines the process of adapting a video game for a specific region when the game was not originally created for that region in the first place. Localizing such a product does not only take translation into consideration, but also culturalization, internationalization, and linguistic assurance quality.
Game localization is important for…
1. … avoiding fan translations
While some gamers might be used to playing non-localized games — often created primarily for an English-speaking audience, numerous gamers will surely not order or download a game that is not provided in their native language.
Fan translations stand for unofficial translation of a video game, made by fans themselves. This practice became popular in the late 1990s, when video game consoles started multiplying in households around the world. These unofficial translations inevitably question consistency with the original essence and meaning of the game, which may lead to misunderstandings, and thus tarnish the image of your game or company.
2. … reaching a wider range of customers
Since a game aimed at an English-speaking audience only reaches about 27% of the market, you may consider localization as a tool to reach a wider community of players, and therefore increase your revenue. Game localization may seem quite unnecessary at first, but investing in this process is the key to boosting sales and downloads, especially for newly released video games.
The next table features the world’s top 10 video game markets.
3. … making sure that your customers feel considered
One important fact about developing a video game is the storytelling. If you localize your video game properly, it will make it easier for the players to refer to the story. And also, make it their own so that they can embark on the journey that you are presenting to them. Keep in mind that the video game industry is all about sustainability. It means that once you have reached your audience, the goal is to maintain it and even reinforce it. Localizing your video game is one main point that makes your customers feel important and makes them feel like they are part of a community.
When it comes to game development, we have demonstrated in this article that providing great gameplay is not worth it at all if the player does not feel included or does not understand the immersive experience that you are offering to them. Localization is a compulsory process to make a video game sustainable in the video game industry that lives on today.
If you want to learn more about localization, feel free to read our other articles on the subject!