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Game Localization, a Must or an Option?

You have probably questioned yourself at least once, “Is it really necessary to localize a game in a country where people use English like their mother tongue? If so, can’t we just localize it in English?” You have a point, but our answer to your question is:

“In fact, it’s hard to say that localization is the most important factor in a game’s success. Nevertheless, if you’re aiming for a game that all game players can fully enjoy for a long time, localization is a must.”

It is true that many local gamers play unlocalized games. You may have seen a Korean streamer playing a game in simple English or with an intuitive UI design in a live stream.

However, it is almost impossible to play a new game simply referring to its design, if very intuitive, without real-time translation by the streamer or without in-game explanation. Most games require localization for tutorials or story development specific to each game genre.

If a game is completely localized in their own language, players can adapt to the gameplay environment more easily. In addition, localization services are essential to the game’s global expansion for many reasons. Let’s take a closer look at them.

1. Game localization is necessary to avoid problems resulting from national and cultural differences, thereby increasing the possibility that a game will succeed in a target market.

“Your novel is the Bible of my life.”

“Bible” 🡺 ?

More than a simple translation from one language to another, localization also involves the process of “localizing” a game for a target market on a large scale so that local users can accept the game’s contents as they are. In this process, it is essential to identify the institutional and cultural differences of the country and eliminate any elements that local users may feel uneasy with, particularly those that slander or mock certain religious beliefs or those related with sensitive political issues.

2. Game localization can increase the number of downloads.

This game, So very totally cool.

This game is simply amazing.

Which sentence makes sense to you? If you launch your game on the App Store, Google Play Store, Steam, or other game markets, the key to success is to get players interested in your game and lead them to download it.

What matters here is search engine optimization (SEO). If localization includes an SEO process that identifies the keywords most frequently searched in the target country or region, your game will be exposed to more players and so downloaded more.

3. Games localization can increase your game’s sales.

Appealing players to download your game is just a halfway to success. The other half is leading them to spend on your game.

To do so, you should guide them through relevant processes in an easy-to-understand manner so that they can consume in-game contents without any disruption.

According to a survey by Common Sense Advisory, about 56% of 2,430 Internet users in eight countries said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.

(Source: https://hbr.org/2012/08/speak-to-global-customers-in-t).

4. Game localization can improve customer satisfaction.

Take a mobile game for example. Customer satisfaction matters in every step where players interact with the game, from downloading to playing to uninstalling it. Only well-localized games can achieve high customer satisfaction.

As many of you already know, a Steam manager confirmed at a recent Indie Game event that localization significantly increases a game’s sales. Localization in Korean increases a game’s sales by 140%, in Simplified Chinese by 69%, in Japanese by 65%, and in Traditional Chinese by 52%. If the game supports English as well, its sales volume increases more dramatically up to 200%. These statistics prove why localization is now a must rather than an option.

This article has discussed why game localization is now a mandatory process despite its time and cost intensiveness. You need not be intimidated, though. On the road to localization, Latis will be with you.

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By |October 25th, 2021|Global Game Insight|0 Comments