Localization can either break or make your game. Thus, well-done localization can mean success and recognition in a new, foreign market. A poorly done job, however, means wasted money and effort, low reviews, and a significant decrease in the game’s quality and playing experience. Proper localization gives your game credibility and respect among new players. Yet, it is always reciprocal with how much effort you have put into pleasing the new market first.
Your game can be packed with great mechanics, an exciting plot, and new features. Still, it won’t mean much to an international market unless you connect to the players using their own language and culture. So, let’s have a closer look at why localization matters and how to produce it.
Reasons for localizing your game
First things first, let’s see the main reasons for localizing your game. Not all creators choose to seek different approaches to different markets worldwide. Some games can afford such a luxury, while others suffer from great consequences. So, here are three main reasons to consider when it comes to game localization.
The more effort you put into the game, the more your new players value it. Sure, the connection between these two ends is quite obvious. Still, the role of localization in it is crucial. It drastically enhances the user’s perception of the game. Thus, no pitfalls like poor translation, odd fonts, or cultural missteps interfere with players’ immersive game experience.
As a result, gamers are more likely to recommend the game to others and increase their final review and score. Sure enough, such reception helps the game to enter future markets and stand out in the competition. We read reviews on everything from games and products to reading tips for writing art essay before buying any services.
The competition in the game market is immense. New creators, big studios, and indie platforms enter the industry each year. Not only that, but the competition among the big names on the market (PlayStation, Nintendo, Sony, AE, etc.) is already huge. Everyone is looking for a way to stand out and please the players a little bit more.
A localized game speaks of care. It shows attention to detail and understanding of the new market. Of course, such nuances won’t go unnoticed by the players. In fact, the most recent big games on the market, such as LEGO Star Wars and Horizon 2, have been localized to almost every new country they’ve entered. Such immense work gives companies an edge over their competitors and ensures better connections with the players.
Needless to say, the better reviews and reception your game gains on the market, the higher еру sales. First, the more languages you translate the game, the more markets it can conquer. However, the better you make it, the more popularity it gains worldwide, making it easier to market and sell.
Four essential pillars of localization
Game localization can mean a lot of things and consist of several components. It often depends on where the game was made and where it will be marketed. For instance, big cultural differences or changes in content and media laws can be the key factor in such a job. Overall, there are four main pillars that game creators have to take into account when planning international releases.
The translation is the obvious and necessary step in any adaptation. Sure even teams who don’t localize will release games in the native market’s language. Good translation requires a deep understanding of an audience along with preplanning. However, well-executed translation comes from preplanning during development. Making texts (like a menu, names, and dialogues) that are easy to change depends on how they were built into the game.
Each culture has its own norms and rules. Making the game’s content appropriate for new players will increase user experience and reduce mistakes. Thus, creators have to review any sensitive materials, jokes, and perhaps some language expressions, references, and comparisons, making them more known to the target audience.
It’s similar to planning an international trip, where you want to gain proper insight into the country before visiting. For example, students may even go through reading a best paper writing service reviews or take a look at myassignmenthelp review and ordering a research paper on the history and culture of their destination country. Sure, game creators can go through a similar process.
Of course, any changes in the game, its code, design, and plots should not compromise its quality. The technical aspects of the game remain the foundation of any successful game release. However, how well the technical aspects of game localization go depends on the initial code. Hence, it requires a localization plan at the early stages of the development process.
Game promotion and marketing can also vary from market to market. Some strategies work great with one target audience but fall flat in a different market. Hence, game localization doesn’t end with its inner changes. It continues with getting the game into the new market, using the most appropriate and working strategies in new circumstances.
Where to start
As it has been pointed out, game localization is much more work than a simple translation of its content. This process involves the entire development team, as it impacts most game aspects. Thus, the best way to start the whole process is from the very beginning of the game development. Set certain goals as soon as you have the team to discuss all the future planning.
For instance, decide whether you are planning on expanding to international markets in the first place. If the answer is yes, all next steps should be made in consideration of this goal. Thus, adding graphics or media integrations with texts will be fruitless, as they are hard to replace and translate. The design and game setting should also be more broad and international, so it can appeal to a wider audience (unless it’s necessary to set the plot in specific regions).
The way your text is encoded should support multiple languages to make localization faster and easier. Even the use of fonts should be done considering how different languages appear in them, whether they exist in your future markets, and how much they cost.