Secrets of gaming localization and translation exposed!

Posted on February 9, 2020 | Posted by Axiom Translations

This insight will share some insights about gaming localization. You will understand what it is as well as why it is important for your business. Ready? Let us take the driving seat and share some expertise.

The Art of Gaming Localization

Gaming localization is a key aspect for game studios who want to address international audiences. Without a doubt, it is one of the most specific fields within the translation and localization industry.

Local audiences have to love your game so that you can call it successful. However, before reaching this goal you need to release it. Most importantly, your game has to respect local regulations. At the same time, you have to keep the fine balance of the product. The balance between offering the same experience all over the world while respecting every local tradition.

Failure to keep that symmetry is a risk. That risk can translate to losing market share.

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#Examples of Cultural Differences and Visual Style University scholars and research companies have found that Asian gamers seem to prefer more childlike characters. At the same time, Western players emphasize adult features.

Gore and blood are present in many action games. However, the socially acceptable level of gore varies between cultures and geographies. Above all, violence can potentially hinder releases. This is the reason why game studios demand to know what kind of content is acceptable in various locations.

The US allows gore. At the same time Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea watch closely whether that element of computer games respects the regulations in place. In other locations it varies depending on culture codes and regulations. Without a doubt, this is one of the many reasons why studios consult with localization specialists.

Story Line in Gaming Localization

Japanese and Western developers tend to take different approaches within a story line.

The characters tend to have a clear and specific goal in Japanese games. Usually, that takes them through an impressive adventure. Along the way the story line becomes more interesting by the addition of various other characters. Apart from this, it is common that the character ends up having to “save the world” in some way.

Middle-aged men tend to be the preferred characters in western games. Often they have a rough, strong look. Usually, their goal is far more personal and involve things like revenge or love interest.

Given these and many other specifics in story line localization, it is extremely important to work with specialists who can help you get things right.

Variety in Gaming Localization

Different cultures want to have different choices. Game developers need to work along localization specialists to accustom their games according to the number and variety of choices required. Simultaneously, the story line must be aligned with the culture code of the user.

Sometimes, historical events are at the core of a game story lines. Many cultures are very protective of their historical legacy. This is the reason why an inaccurate representation of a historical event can lead to criticism. This is one of the major examples why specialist help is required.

Important Considerations in Gaming Localization

Belief systems must also be respected. Developers and localization experts know from experience that they are crucial to success. This is natural, as faith is a very personal subject. Religion and faith issues obstruct game sales. Likewise, they can cause negative reaction from media outlets, social activists, NGOs and even regulators.

To understand the magnitude of religion lets visualize a game where cows represent an evil goddess and must be exterminated. In India caws are sacred animals. India would ban a similar gave and a major target market would be lost. Furthermore, such release will seriously damage the developer reputation.

Three Key Elements

As you noticed the gaming localisation process can be broken into three parts.

Linguistic and cultural The goal is simple. Not only to translate the content but to make the game appealing and accustomed for the target market. Naturally, professional assistance is necessary. Warm reception by the core targeted audience audience is the most important success factor.

Legal and Regulation Think of age ratings. Think of all the other country specific regulations that need to be respected. At the same time, lets not forget all the unwritten rules that also need to be respected. The risks of not getting this part right are high. They range from a simple fine to a complete market ban.

Graphics, music and voice over As you know, player identification and personification are crucial within the gaming industry. This is the reason why avatars play an important role. Likewise, they also need to be localized. Examples of that process include different appearances to facilitate the bonding process. At the same time, musical and voice overs have to vary. The national threats and preferences of your target audience are usually taken into consideration.

Localize your Game Successfully

Game developers and designers face many challenges. The biggest one is when they prepare releases for different target audiences. They have to take into consideration a variety of factors. These often include the cultural, social, legal requirements of a target locale. The translators and localization experts take up an important role in supporting this process.

It is highly recommended that the linguists engaged to translate and localize the gaming content must themselves be gamers. They need to have a solid native grasp of the language translated. Moreover, they need to understand the social beliefs of the society they localize for. Last but not least, they should also understand the gaming thrill and niche terms gamers would expect.

In order to launch game releases successfully across geographies – you have to opt for a professional partner. A translation and localization partner that specializes in the gaming industry. At Axiom, we can help.

Drop us a line to learn more.

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