Game localisation is not for beginners
When it comes to the gaming industry, localisation goes up to expert level. Not only is the translation and video game localisation an intricate job in itself, but the entire localisation process that comes along with it requires a lot of time and attention to ensure success. Here’s how you do it.
A properly onboarded team is key to video game localisation
The last thing you want when trying to offer your audience a seamless game experience, is them feeling disconnected from the content and thinking it was not created with their native language and culture in mind. Also, high translation quality, accurate terminology and consistent tone of voice is more important now than ever.
Therefore, close collaboration with your own customised team of translators is crucial to video game localisation. This is an important part of getting a video game ready for a foreign market and requires a team of experienced translators who are both native to the target language and highly familiar with video game translations. A tailored onboarding is extremely important to make sure your translators are familiar with the game and are comfortable its content. This way you can ensure quality content in each of the multiple languages throughout the video game and delivering an experience that feels native to the user.
Reduce margin for errors and ensure quality content
The review stage is one of the biggest challenges in game localisation, since it is usually performed late in the development process when the video game is close to its release date, making the stakes high for any hiccups that could cause delays in launching.
In order to ensure a smooth game localisation journey, the Editor Tool allows you to review, edit and comment on the translation, as well as communicate directly with the independent translators, significantly reducing margin for errors and avoiding delays in launch.
Goodbye to launch delays thanks to seamless integration
Having the launch date of your video game pushed due to a slow translation process can be detrimental to the sales of your game, and therefore it is extremely important that your localisation project is handled properly leaving no room for setbacks.
By using plug and play Integrations you allow for content to be imported and exported in different languages automatically, without the need for any coding, this way decreasing hours spent on manual work leaving more time to focus on other tasks.
Always have content ready for release
In the gaming industry, new versions of the same video game are always being released, and making sure your content is up to date as the different versions come out is super important, but can also be very time consuming.
By using a String Library as part of your game localisation you can synchronise your strings and keep them updated at all times. This way you can avoid having untranslated strings and having to re-deploy because of missed translations and minor fixes, always putting you ahead of the game.
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Three elements of game localisation to look out for:
A video game must draw players in and keep them engaged. This is where story element localisation comes into play. Character names, place names, items, weapons, or other story elements should be localised to provide the player with as much realistic game script as possible.
A character's name can have various meanings in different countries, regions and cultures. When the name doesn't fit with the script, it can interfere with the gaming experience. A feminine name in one culture may be used as a male name in another culture. These elements are important to the plot and gameplay, which means more attention should be paid to their localisation.
Localising technical elements, like dates, times, and units of measurement, are often overlooked. Yet, they play an equally important part in creating an immersive, seamless gaming experience.
Before starting the actual video game translation process, technical aspects such as text space need to be considered. Text space in the user interface is often limited, which can cause issues when translating into another language. German acts as a great example of how words can easily vary in length compared to English.
Abbreviations are another important factor of technical elements that might require translation and localisation as they are frequently used in the user interface. These are usually abbreviated forms of English words, so they may also need to be adapted to other languages. The solution is translating their full forms or simply leaving them as they are if they are well-known. For example, health points are typically abbreviated to simply HP.
The final element consists of marketing localisation, a crucial but sometimes overlooked component of the video game localisation process. Marketing teams spend months developing materials to maximise the appeal and commercial success of their games.
However, many of those elements will fail to connect with international audiences without a proper localisation strategy. The result is wasted time and opportunities, undermining the overall localisation effort.
Localising marketing elements is not only about advertisements and graphic design, which may be sufficient in some cases but not all. In some cases, the localisation strategy may even involve an entirely new monetisation strategy, as gamers in different regions have unique habits when making video game purchases.
Outside the box
If your mantra is to never settle, then expanding your video games into new markets is the way to go.
You will be bringing value to a larger pool of consumers through game localisation, by embracing every aspect of a region, from linguistic to cultural ones. If done successfully, it can make your company feel relevant to locals and part of the regional lifestyle.
This also means that you will raise consumer awareness, because making your game available in multiple languages and adapted to different cultures will generate some buzz around it. And it is very likely that by proving flawless localisation, new gaming communities will blossom, which will enhance your brand image and strengthen your fanbase.
Game localisation benefits your business in many ways
Video game localisation will increase the players' enjoyment of the game as an immersive experience, but it also benefits the video game companies who created this experience. Here are a few ways how game localisation can increase your business’s bottom line:
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Frequently asked questions
What does game localisation mean?
Video game localisation is the process of producing video game content for a specific country or region while doing it so well that it looks like it was made for that region specifically. This is a process that involves many components. Linguistic and cultural localisation consists of translating text and cultural references so that the game’s overall feel remains trustworthy to each region.
Why is game localisation important?
The overall purpose and intention of game localisation is to give the impression that the game was developed for a specific market. This means that linguists and localisers should also be gamers to understand the players’ preferences better. Gaming localisation consists of the text on the game’s box, general marketing, PR materials and the in-game characters’ spoken dialect through dubbing or subtitles.
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