What is in a game? If Shakespeare were around in 2018, he would feel a little differently than what he did back then. For today, it really matters, if the rose is called by a different name. In the gaming zone, at least.
Imagine creating a blockbuster game! It is ripping success-charts and selling like hot cakes. But when pumped up by its success in one region, you try to take it to another market expecting success, but all you see is confusion and clutter. Or worse, fan backlash. This is an obstacle that even the most deft gamers would not be armed for – video game localization.
Yes, making a killer game is not enough. If the intention is to expand its reach and revenues in other regions and with a new set of audience, it should be considerably localised. It is a process rife with challenges and details that go deeper than video translation and subtitling.
Localisation – what does it entail
Localising a video game covers various aspects:
- Converting the game hardware and software as per the language and user-profile of the intended audience
- Adhering to the cultural context of the new region
- Re-doing inputs and play details as per the devices used there
- Re-doing inputs and outputs as per new user profile and habits
- Video translation and subtitling
- Translation memory management
- Compatibility for different devices and consoles as well as screen-sizes
- Miscellaneous work around store resources, community-language, manuals, and voice-overs, wherever applicable
- Culturally-appropriate work with video language translator
- Side-stepping content that is offensive, confusing or out of place
- Increasing access, distribution and online footprint of the game in question
- Adapting content as per that region’s rating systems and parental control classification of use of sex and violence in games
- Steering clear of controversies and mishaps that arise purely out of video language translators
Pick your video game localization partner
These areas can be accomplished easily when one goes for a full-stack and adept localisation service that can handle everything from native video language translator to bespoke video translation and subtitling. You would need someone who comes with:
- Local talent and linguist expertise.
- A robust project management capability as video game localization is not a one-off job.
- Understanding and the ability to make the game as/even more immersive despite all the translation changes undertaken.
- Ability to cater to gaming communities and their slangs.
- Creativity and resources to deliver accents, soundtracks, and imagery or character-nuances/narratives as per the new-audience.
- The muscle and timing-advantage to handle fan-based translations.
- Understanding the differences and preferences that are relevant to players from the new region.
- A good grip on past translation bloopers that other gaming companies have suffered; and the resources, as well as the confidence, to not get into that list at all.
- A complete stack of services, experts, solutions and client-experiences that will assure you that your game will not be a guinea pig case for video translation and subtitling.
- A thorough and deep-cutting comprehension that video game localisation is much more than displacing one language and pasting another language on video game content.
- Capability to handle stages of development of a game.
- Collaborative room to work with game developers.
- Experience in dovetailing game changes with marketing and PR plans.
- Extreme care and effort in ensuring no new bugs enter in this process.
- Strategic advice on whether and how the game can be localised in a new market.
It is also possible and debatable when it comes to changing the game content during the course of localisation. This is where a good grasp on the market realities and risk-readiness will operate strongly. But this is also where the experience and sure-footedness of the service provider would play out.
When the game is localised with due rigour, diligence and depth; it will speak for itself by creating fans and game-lovers that do not find the game as an alien oddity but embrace it whole-heartedly – with the conviction, immersion, addiction and obsession that only hard-core games and their users share.
So choose the right video game localisation service and make a dash to the next level.
More revenues and more happy users. Who knows, even more game worshippers!