Gaming and e-sports are global, and, although the unifying language tends to be English, localizing your game for specific markets can have profound effects.
Understanding your players’ needs is the single most important element of designing a successful game. Strangely, for many game makers, this stops with the game processes, however, the games that become bestsellers, go one step further.
Choosing to translate or even better, localize your game not only makes sense for the users, but it also makes great business sense. It also helps you to address different cultures and the varying content and censorship laws that each country or region may have. Without understanding these rules, your game may never even reach your players’ consoles.
Every game developer wants to make their game more engaging, and it’s predicted that during 2020 consumers will have collectively spent around 674 billion hours on mobile devices, downloading and playing games. A recent study by GlobalWebIndex also indicates that more than a billion people around the world stream games over the internet each month.
Games like PUBG and Fortnite have already addressed the need for global language support, with both games offering game translation and localization in numerous languages (9 and 12 respectively).
How to level up your game business with translation?
Developing a game that has the potential to be a global hit cost money. So when you decide to spend more resources and money on game localization, it’s fair to ask the question, is it worth it?
We can look at two key points that would suggest that it’s very much worth the investment.
After the release of Defender’s Quest in six fully localized language versions, the game’s sales in non-English speaking countries significantly increased. Sales of the Russian version on Steam increased from 5% to more than 11% (share in the total sales), while those of the German version rose from 7% to more than 8%.
The biggest reason for this is down to the additional value you can bring to your gamers. Through a localized version of the game, you are identifying the needs and wishes of specific gaming markets.
This includes for example names of characters and places, weapons, or other elements of the story. The goal is to provide the player with the most realistic game script possible. Language should be considered as a crucial user experience element.
Tips for a successful game translation
Game localization has the potential to grow your user base. However, understanding when and where to get started can be a difficult process, that if you get wrong, can cost money and time, potentially delaying release dates and disappointing new users.
These are our 5 key tips for a successful localization project.
- Translation or localization is a measure of your ambition! If you want global reach – you need to think about the translation of your product from the very beginning. This means in the planning phase, speaking with designers to make sure that the game can adapt for different languages, RTL, and different scripts, for example, Arabic or Chinese.
- Translating from English is typically the most cost-effective option. This means planning your game content in English and then translating and localizing into other languages. The reason for this is simple – it’s easier and less expensive to find English language translators.
- Unusual language combinations are more expensive, and qualified translators are hard to find.
- Make sure that the original content (the source) is of high quality. Spend time getting the source language right, this will make the translation process easier and faster, resulting in a much better user experience.
- Poorly written content will be difficult to translate, leading to additional questions from translators slowing down the process.
Make sure you choose the right game translation partner
To avoid problems and complications in your game translation process, you need to choose a reliable partner. This is where Tilde comes in. We have a team of language and localization professionals with experience in game translations.
Placing your game localization in the hands of a team that understands game terminology, cultural differences, and of course local laws on censorship and content maturity.
Outsourcing your game localization is also cost-effective. Instead of searching for multiple language specialists with varying levels of ability, then managing them individually, you can work with one agency. At Tilde, our in-house team can work on game translations and localizations, allowing you to continually develop games, growing your user base, taking your business global.