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Game Localization Service

Video games, which started to become widespread in the 1980s and appeal to everyone, have undergone a tremendous change with increased access to the internet and computers. The adventure that began in video game arcades has evolved into the digital game world today. This digital world brings millions of people into a single environment and offers very different gaming experiences, thanks to game platforms and the internet. As the demand for video games increases, globalization is also accelerating, so localization service becomes a constant need.

Game Translation or Game Localization?

Game translation is not just about transferring the contents of the game from one language to another because many cultural elements of the target culture are used in the games. Many factors, such as time zones, units of measurement, and cultural characteristics (idioms, utterances, word games, etc.), require appropriate localization of the game. Therefore, although it is often referred to as game translation, it is more accurate to call this service game localization.

You may check our blog article "Why Do You Need Localization?" to get further information about the difference between localization and translation services.

What Does Game Localization Service Include?

The game industry includes many disciplines. By bringing together, various disciplines such as game development, graphic design, game programming, game testing, game localization, and game marketing, content that appeals to the target audience are created.

Game localization makes any video game playable and enjoyable for a player from another region or nationality.  For example, a game that is only available in English can be offered in an attractive way to a player in Japan by making the necessary changes.

In the game localization process, translation and localization (transferring the meaning by considering the characteristics of the target language and culture) services are offered; because each game has a different style, genre, story, terminology, and characters' names. It is also possible to encounter songs, poems, nursery rhymes, jokes, and other cultural elements in a game from time to time. It should be considered that there are some limits and an area of expertise that requires creativity.

During the game localization process, not only video game translation is done. In the localization to be made, many elements need to be adapted:

  • The content of the game (texts in the game, the interface, and menus of the game, the texts explaining how the game is played (tutorial), the speeches and texts written about the story of the game, the texts to be voiced, the names of characters, costumes, items, weapons, spells, abilities, and definitions of these elements; texts about the rules of the game, codes, variables, etc.),

  • Marketing texts that are written about the game,

  • Stories formed or real stories in the game,

  • Videos about the game,

  • Blog posts, articles, and dev diaries about the game,

  • Cover design of the game,

  • Website or online shopping sites of the game.

How Is Game Localization Performed?

Video game localization service provides your game to be successful, and sales figures increase drastically. While performing game translation services, a comprehensive process is followed, considering the graphics, sound, and content.

The most important thing in game localization is that the team offering the localization service is an expert in this field. This team needs to have full knowledge of the relevant game, the game's story, and its characters. As a result, the team will have a more accurate approach and provide a higher quality service.

In video game localization, every element (time zone, units of measurement, phrases, sayings, etc.) that takes place in the game must be adapted to the target culture. In addition, typos and spelling must be corrected after localization is complete, fonts must be checked, content-related character issues (when text exceeds line) should be corrected, and contextual semantic shifts must be corrected.

What Information Should Be Provided to the Person Who Will Offer Game Localization Service?

Each game may require a different method for localization. Therefore, the person who will perform game localization must be provided with information such as the target audience of the game, its genre, the platform on which it will be published, and its story.

What Are the Characteristics of Game Localization Experts?

Game localization is a field of expertise that requires creativity, translation, and localization. The creativity of the person who will perform localization dramatically influences how the game is presented. A game translator should also be open to new ideas and follow the game sector developments to offer a more competent and successful outcome.

The expert must experience the game to ensure it is entirely suitable for the target audience. Considering all the features of game translators, these translators should like to play digital games, consider the details in the games, apply the cultural elements of the target language to the translation of the game, and perform creative translations.

What Are the Key Points to Consider for Game Localization?

Although every game has its own world, offering game localization service needs to consider some points:

  • The localization service provider should show an accurate approach by considering the game.

  • Though not in every game, dialogs, equivoques, songs, commands, and symbolic narratives can be found in the source culture. These elements must be transferred to the target culture most appropriately.

  • People who offer localization services should be specialized in this field and have enough knowledge about the game. These people should follow the game sector closely, be aware of technological developments and follow the changing game jargon. It should also consider elements that gamers are sensitive to (political, religious, geographical elements, etc.).

  • The person who will provide the service should analyze the target audience correctly and work on the vocabulary of the targeted gamers. For example, different words are found when a child-oriented game is compared to an adult game.

  • There must be consistency between the previous and subsequent versions of the game.

  • The localization provider must avoid translation patterns and offer a real translation service.

  • Attention should be paid to violence and profanity (toxicity), and localization must be done correctly.

  • In addition to written content, visual and auditory content should be localized according to the target audience.

  • Creativity, as well as localization and translation, must be included in the process.

How Long Does It Take to Perform Game Localization?

The exact time needed for each game that will be localized may vary. Localizing a game can take up to 160 hours of effort, but it is also possible to localize a game for months. Elements such as the type of game, language pairs, story, etc., can affect the localization process.

In Which Languages Is Game Localization Service Offered the Most?

A 2020 study by Alconost, one of the leading localization companies, found that the most frequent languages for the game localization service in recent years include Spanish, German, French, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Polish.

In Which Fields Is Game Localization Service Offered the Most?

The game sector is one of the fastest growing sectors today, and hundreds of games are presented daily. Which type of game will be localized more often may vary depending on the preferences of the gamers and the need for the sector.

HeliCo has served in this field for many years, contributing to the localization of many types of games.

Who Needs Game Localization Services?

Today, game localization is needed more than ever, highlighting the importance of translators with experience in game translation. For this reason, anyone who wants to address the game sector anywhere in the world and in every culture can benefit from game localization services.

Why Should You Benefit from Game Localization Service?

Game localization service enables you to expand your potential customer pool and increases the game's visibility on relevant platforms. At the same time, gamer satisfaction rises by the same percentage since most gamers can play in the most comfortable language they use, thanks to game localization. For this reason, you should determine your needs with your service provider.

By contacting us to benefit from computer game localization, mobile game localization, console game localization, and virtual reality (VR) game localization services, you can get support from our team, which has full knowledge of game jargon and is an expert in game localization.

Written By: Gamze Korkmaz

Date of Publication: 03.10.2022

Target Audience: People Who Need Game Localization Services, People Who Need Localization, Translators, Game Developers

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