Video Game Localization Process: A Step-By-Step Guide to Conquering Gaming Communities

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Game localization can significantly impact a game’s success when introducing it into a new market. So, what exactly is the video game localization process? What should translators bear in mind to ensure the effectiveness of the localized version? Read on to learn more about the world of game localization.

Overview of Game Localization

What is game localization?

Game localization refers to the process of adapting in-game elements to suit the culture of the local market while preserving the spirit and essence of the game itself.

Elements that are adapted in game localization encompass:

  1. Language: The publisher should pay attention to this element when they intend to expand into global markets. In other words, they need to adapt the game to suit the preferences of their target audience. The process involves not only translating the text but also ensuring that the translation aligns with the cultural context, creating a sense of familiarity and friendliness for gamers.
  2. Audio: It is a pivotal element that enhances the game’s allure; hence, every publisher often takes audio into consideration. For instance, it is suggested that the game’s background music should be adapted into soundtracks that are familiar to target gamers.
  3. Interface: Similar to audio, the game interface is essential in capturing the gamer’s attention and facilitating game recall. For that reason, the publisher often customizes the interface to cater to the preferences of their target players.
What is Game Localization Process - Thao & Company

Common video game localization challenges

Several difficulties publishers may encounter when localizing video games are as follows:

  1. ● One of the most prevailing problems faced by publishers is a lack of thorough cultural understanding of the target market. This is why game localization is often entrusted to professional agencies specializing in translation and localization.
  2. Technical aspects of the game. In some instances, games have intricate technical structures, and adapting the content to fit the cultural context can lead to errors or performance issues. This requires in-depth expertise regarding programming and game technology.
  3. High risk of not being well received by players. Whether the game is meticulously crafted with stunning illustrations and a fascinating plot, there is no guarantee that the game will not face the risk of receiving negative feedback from player communities. To mitigate this risk, it is essential for the publisher to conduct thorough testing and market research before and after the game localization process.

A step-by-step guide to game localization

The game localization process varies depending on each localization agency. In this section, Thao & Co. will provide you with our standard localization process.

Stage 1: Pre-translation preparations

In this step, game assets requiring localization will be extracted and compiled into a “localization kit.” After a thorough analysis of this localization kit, our linguists will establish Translation Guidelines and Keyword Glossary.

The Translation Guidelines play a crucial role in delivering an accurate translation, ensuring consistency and compatibility with the characteristics of the game.

Furthermore, to create a keyword glossary that suits target audiences, the significance of conducting consumer language research cannot be overstated.

Our Consumer Language Research© Service assists in gathering and analyzing consumer language, as well as measuring the effectiveness of specific content in a target audience group. Hence, the keyword glossary for game localization will ensure maximum compatibility with the players that the game publisher aims to reach.

Phase 2: Translation + proofreading

Following this, our expert linguists begin translating and localizing video game content tailored to the target audience, helping publishers accomplish their desired goals.

In this step, we will simultaneously translate and proofread the content to expedite the delivery timeline. Our proofreaders meticulously check the translation to ensure accuracy and cultural resonance with the local market.

Stage 3: Post-translation fine-tuning

After finishing the translation process, our localization team integrates translated game elements back into the game and make necessary adjustments during the post-production phase. To ensure seamless performance and appropriate content tailored to target players, we can work with the game publisher to conduct a test run, also known as Localization Testing.

Video games are technological products with a relatively complicated structure, in which publishers mainly focus on the game interface to make it more appealing and user-friendly for gamers. To ensure smooth gameplay, maintain the aesthetic design of the game interface, and preserve contextual nuances of the translation, publishers may consider choosing our Customized Integration and Linguistic Review services.

Incorporating these services allows businesses to create standardized and comprehensive multilingual game versions for global players while saving time and effort.

Some tips to optimize the video game localization process

What does Game Translation and Localization mean? - Thao & Co.

To gain the most optimal outcome from game localization, game publishers need to carefully consider the following aspects:

Check for multi-language features

It’s essential to ensure the game is programmed with multi-language features before handing the project over to a translation and localization agency. If these features are not in place, prioritize resources to set them up before localization to ensure their smooth operation.

Determine clear goals and objectives

Every game publisher needs to carefully consider determining a clear set of goals and objectives prior to the localization process. Setting well-defined goals will help publishers have a specific action plan and maximize efficiency.

Identify the target audience

Game publishers need to accurately determine their target audience to choose the appropriate localization support services, as well as provide precise requirements for the localization agency. This practice can ensure that the localized version of the game can reach a wider range of players and receive positive feedback.

Discuss and work closely with the translation agency during the project

To ensure a smooth localization process, game publishers need to coordinate with their chosen translation and content localization agency. This way, all requirements will be met, and the business objectives can be achieved.

Collaborating with Thao & Co., you can easily keep track of your project progress as well as directly interact with our expert linguists through our proprietary platform. This streamlined process guarantees convenience and high efficiency.

High-quality game localization service

There are plenty of agencies in today’s market providing game localization services; therefore, you should take into account the following factors to choose a reputable agency:

  1. ● The credibility of the translation agency
  2. ● The quality demonstrated in previous projects of the localization agency
  3. ● Team quality, including those working closely with the publisher such as consultants, linguists, etc.
  4. ● Clear and transparent project quotation
  5. ● Professional, streamlined, and effective workflow
  6. ● A wide range of complementary services to facilitate the game localization process such as Consumer Language Research, SEO Keyword Glossary, Customized Integration and Linguistic Review, etc.

If you are looking for a professional game localization agency, Thao & Co. is honored to be your trusted partner.

Thao & Co. professional Translation and Localization Services

Thao & Co. always prioritizes high-quality and professional App, Website, Game localization services, thereby helping you accomplish your desired goals. Partnering with our company, you can enjoy a positive working experience with our streamlined workflow, proprietary platform, and strict information confidentiality policies.

With a team of native linguists boasting extensive experience in global collaborations, Thao & Co. is confident that we can ensure your game is well-localized and warmly received by your target audience.

That brings us to the end of our step-by-step guide to video game localization. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our game localization service, please visit our Get a Quote page for detailed consultation.

Source: Thao & Company
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