Game localization is an indispensable pre-requisite for you to be able to deal with the vast customer base. Game Localisation involves almost everything from the fundamentals, i.e. translation of the game to different languages to the less familiar and not very obvious parts, like removing or subtracting aspects that other cultures might not appreciate. Every game has its own unique story and developers must help translators bring life to it in different languages and cultures. Targeting any group or culture which automatically increases the brand reach and gives a competitive advantage over other game development/localisation industries. Most importantly, it provides gamers a platform where they enjoy their much-awaited games in their native languages. Some advantages of game localisation are:
I. Increase in Sales and Stands out in the face of ferocious competition
The most immediate effect that can be achieved is an increased rate of download for your game. By having your game in only one certain language, you are catering to the needs of a limited population. Availability in different languages automatically leads to increased sales.
II. Customer Satisfaction
Global players will feel more valued by the game, developing a special relationship between the developer and the user. Every player will feel like the game was tailored for him or her and would easily understand the controls and plot of the game.
III. Increase your ranking on the App Store and Play store
When your user network is wide and your game is more user friendly, the chances of customers leaving positive reviews are greater thus leading to an increased ranking on the store. The fact that you have a variety of views coming from different regions will force the store to pay attention to your product and rank it better.
IV. Control your Game’s development
Sometimes a lack of availability leads to revisions via piracy, which means that someone else is using your expertise. Thus, localisation is not only a way of maximising your profits but maintaining the originality banner off your game.
Localisation is an endeavour that will make you a fortune, but to earn those profits you have to go through a strenuous process. To kick start localization, you should:
- Start Everything with Localization in Mind
The most consequential error that a game developer could make is to not prepare for localization during the development of the game. This could lead to higher costs and increased time on localization when they do decide to do it. Hard coding might also make it impossible to make some changes, thus for your own benefit always plan for localization in the developmental stages of your game.
- Select the Right Translation Source and Conducting Language Analytics
You could either decide to hire freelancers or have a team of professional game translators work on your project. It will always be easier to avoid mistakes if all of your translators are working together. Professional translators have been certified by an association to do the work so their training and education definitely puts them in a better position. You could hire native professional translators for every language which may make the costs higher but the end product would be well suited for the users. A professional team could also guide you about what languages you need to translate to in order to reach maximum audience.
- Internationalise your Code and Provide String Descriptions
A game is only capable of being displayed in a single language until your code base, architecture and code IU have gone through an internationalization process. This process enables your game to be displayed in the gamer’s language of choice, thus laying the foundation for localization. By providing string description the translator knows the game and code at hand in detail. Clarity is essential for attracting users. As localization needs you to translate all of the text strings, you would have to extract all text from your executable code into resource files.
- Know what needs localizing and what doesn’t
Make a list of some important things that would need translation; however, these elements may be variable depending on the language and your marketplace. Nonetheless some common ones are: User Interface, Visuals, Market place content localization, Internationalization and Press Kit translation. This allows for a smoother and more structured process.
- Conduct Quality Assurance
After beginning, the only way to make sure that you are headed in the right direction is to keep testing your results. Ask questions about video sequence, fonts, content placement, dates, time and the specific items present in your game localization process.
- Documentation and Processes
The processes and workflow from one team to another and one department to another, who reports what, what is due when – all these are questions that would have to be answered on daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on your modus operandi. A draft of the whole plan, from the start till the time it hits the stores, shall guide your team in a better way.
- Budgets and Legal Matters
Budgeting is the way to get your work done within your resources. Communicate with all the people you will employ, especially the professional game translation company. Hire a credible and smart attorney for yourself to avoid any legal disputes.
One such company with competitive expertise in video game localization is EC Innovations. With an array of experts and professionals, EC Innovations is a qualified and globally recognized company that is very well suited for video game localization. It offers localization in 130+ languages and 260 locales. EC Innovations offers a comprehensive suite of translation, video game localization, and multimedia services for the gaming industry. Their game industry linguists are also avid gamers who understand the needs of players and the terminologies across various platforms and genres. Services for gaming include: In-game text, UI, user manuals, voice-over, marketing materials, legal docs, and website localization.