Gaming is a global industry. There are people from different countries who play games on a daily basis. Developers have identified this fact and strive hard to create games that are inclusive, relevant and engaging. As part of their endeavor, a number of factors have come to the forefront and games localization happens to be a major one. Having a particular game in several languages other than English is key to its popularity and consequently, an increased ROI.
However, just translating the game name, messages and tutorials is not going to get the job done. In the following lines, let us understand games localization and its benefits for developers as well as global gamers.
What is Games Localization?
To put it in simple words, the process of making a game understandable, relevant, relatable and playable by people belonging to diverse regions from around the world is known as Game Localization. This includes the language, the cultural sensitivities, authenticity and content, amongst others. Developers have been focussing on creating games that have a global presence and localizing them is one of the better prospects that should be undertaken.
Advantages of Game Localization
- Ideal for creating a global presence – Creating games that can be played by only a certain number of people in the country of its origin is a thing of the past. Gaming is such a huge niche that many developers are seeking ways to enter the global market in order to make their presence felt. To accomplish this, the said games need to be available in all the target languages so that people can relate to each of them as a whole.Right from the game name to its characters and their dialogue, there are many aspects that have to be taken into account. Using a professional translator for the purpose makes sense. There are many failed attempts at localizing games owing to poor translation and this has made the developers cautious. Investing capital in getting a professional to do the job is significant.
- Increase in ROI – If a certain game is downloaded by game lovers from various countries, the ROI is bound to increase by a high degree. It has become a norm to release a new game in languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Brazilian and French, amongst others. These are some of the countries which have enthusiastic gamers who do not hesitate to download a game that is in their respective native languages. As the number of installs goes up, so does the ROI and the game becomes successful in multiple locations.
- Gives rise to satisfied gamers – Let’s say that you have developed a great game that has all the ingredients to make it successful and create a mark in the gaming industry. However, it is available only in the English language. Gamers who have heard about your new game and it’s features wish to download it. However, some of them are unable to understand it owing to language limitations. If at the time of the release, you had thought about all the target demographics, you would have gained a larger number of satisfied customers from around the world.
- Addressing the competitive market – There are hundreds of thousands of game developers that are striving hard to make a mark in the industry. By creating a brand that is able to produce games which are immersive, interactive and interesting, half of your job is done. The other half is taken care of by games localization, continual player engagement and regular updates. Amongst the latter, the localization part is very effective. As soon as you develop a game that can be released across multiple locations, you have met the requirements of the maximum number of players who would love to play the game in question.
Tools that are available to help you in games localization:
Using the Sony Play Station’s Localization Assets Management System (LAMS), gaming companies can optimize their policy on a real-time basis. There are many features such as language support, testing, audio and video text generation and identifying inappropriate text that are available in it. Those involved in the software development part of gaming can make use of the management of data, security details, quality analysis, filters and APIs using the LAMS.
In this year’s GDC that was held in March, one of the hot topics of discussion was game localization and its effectiveness in being able to connect with the global community of gamers. A number of industry experts reiterated the fact that this phenomenon needs to be taken up by every game developer who wishes to attract their target audiences on a large scale.
As far as Unity game localization is concerned, they have a separate Plugin that is meant to help game developers take care of their translation needs. It is simple to use and can be mastered without any glitches.
Summing it up, if you a part of the gaming industry, you should be aware of the benefits of games localization and take it up before you are left behind in competition.