All games are developed from a cultural context. Game localization is about customizing that connection to another specific market. For a game or app to achieve a global reach, localization is a powerful way to broaden the market and reach more gamers.
What is video game localization?
Game localization means an evolution of the video game for the international markets. The localization method includes translation, internationalization, culturalization, and linguistic QA. A vast number of gamers will not download a game unless it is in their local language. Game localization builds believability worldwide. Higher rankings, higher downloads, and increased sales are the pros.
I give you five reasons why you should localize your game
1. To increase sales and downloads
You have a game, and you are on to launch it. Congrats! It might not transform people’s lives the way you expected. But it is fun. Maybe this game truly will change lives, your life, for instance, because now you want to sell your game. To boost sales, you need to increase downloads. To raise the downloads, you need to broaden the market. Only localizing can achieve that, and this is when you reach more gamers.
Going global is going local. It is worth it!
The return of investment (ROI) is impressive. For example, almost 100% of the top 100 downloads in App Store China are in Chinese, Japan, and Korea. Those are huge game markets having high levels of translated games. These Asian countries have a strong preference for native languages combined with low proficiency in English. But there are major European game countries like France, Germany, and Italy where the English ability is huge, but they still prefer games in their regional language. Localization is about reaching the local context in every region.
Can you afford to lose these markets?
2. You want your gamers to feel important
Localization is an easy way to entertain and attract your users. Walking that extra mile will bring followers who endorse you. As they feel like it was made for them specially. Today, game developers want gamers to understand and involve themselves in the story. With the front-end user experience, a faultlessly tailored localization engages gamers and allows them to play their own story. Furthermore, the more languages covered, the more happy users will play your game in their own aesthetic and linguistic context. Localization is essential as it will stop confusion on the storyline. In addition, a personal relationship is built between the developer and user.
3. To have control of your game
Localization is a way for you to evade other translations or ROM hacking. Of course, developers have differing views about this area. However, if you translate and localize, it is easier for you to control the translation quality. If you are thinking to localize, instead of compressing it somewhere at the end of the project – use an expert localization vendor and make localization a part of the project. It will lessen you both money and time but also give you control of your primary distribution. Simultaneous release in various languages can produce your launch with positive feedback. Localization is a part of the method that saves you time and money instead of changing the text and translating it just when it completes.
4. Save you from public embarrassment
A good localization lessens the risks of misinterpreting or giving the wrong meaning and provides marketing an extra push. It is not just translation. The translation is about switching a word into a word with the same meaning in another language. To translate, you need to be a native speaker with a great understanding of slang, jokes, and cultural references. And localization is not just translation. It is about adapting local influences like music, color, date format, food, holidays, suitable crop in that region, etc. Localization is an understanding of the local, social, and cultural environment.
Thinking big is thinking small. You need to localize if you want to go global. If you understand your users, they will appreciate you. Your returns will be increased sales, happy users, and good reviews.
5. Get a higher ranking on App Store
Users have the power to influence your ranking. For example, lack of translation might lead to negative reviews that show disappointment. And to grow from that feedback needs a lot of time and effort. But if professional translate the app, users will not experience those staggering incorrect translations and start giving positive feedback. And this feedback from various vital countries will get App Store to pay attention to your product. As a result, your app will have a higher potential of showing up in App Store searches. In addition, studies have shown that people will pay to download if the app is translated, especially into their language.
Do you still think it’s expensive to localize?
No, not when you’re about to make billions.