Games Localization

Driven by the continuous improvement in the computer hardware industry, the video game industry has experienced constant growth since the 1980s. Multimedia content such as audio, video and 3D graphics have been enhanced greatly, attracting more and more adoptees and fans worldwide. Popularity is also reinforced by a variety of distribution methods and pricing models that makes it possible for anyone around the world, no matter what their budget, to play a top-quality game, without necessarily owning the latest hardware equipment: pay by the hour, game cafés, and/or remote servers running the application for MMORPGs.

The more advanced the technology becomes, the more complex it is to create quality games. Today, it is rare to see games that have been developed in a few months by a small team to sell well. In today’s market, it takes around three years and a considerable budget to develop a successful game. The number of people involved has increased in the same proportions as the graphical and programming complexity. When such an effort is being made at the development stage, it is only normal to have the objective of generating international revenue and, ultimately, becoming a global player.

The international gaming community, however, expects to be entertained just as much as players in your home territory. The gaming enjoyment will not be the same if your game is full of text truncations or translation inconsistencies, spelling or grammar mistakes, if the voice-over does not fit the image of the person or its action, if the content is culturally incomprehensible or – even worse – unacceptable. Gamers are a reactive and unforgivable group; they will rapidly make bad press of games featuring localization issues.

Because of its content and the extended use of multimedia practises, games are not like any other software when it comes to localization. They have specific factors that should be taken into consideration when preparing the localization budget. A reliable localization partner can help manage these difficulties and avoid the pitfalls, which are all too often underestimated.