Market research shows that the video game market is expanding rapidly.
More and more amateur gamers are choosing to spend their free time on this form of entertainment. This represents a potentially lucrative opportunity for the video game industry (including editors, developers and distributors), particularly with the pandemic triggering an acceleration in the digitalization process and a further shift toward the internet.
The exponential growth in the number of fans (i.e. consumers) brings with it eye-watering revenue forecasts. So how best to tap into this opportunity?
One approach is to translate – or rather, to localize – a video game catalog into another language.
At a time when user experience is king, it’s essential that video games can create what has become known as an immersive experience.
This is relatively easy to achieve in the game’s original language, but it’s a whole other challenge when you need to engage with somebody who has a different mother tongue. To ensure that gamers feel at home and can fully enjoy the experience, you have to go one step further by localizing the game.
Video game translation is a complex process due to the sheer number of elements that need to be addressed, from both linguistic and cultural perspectives: scripts, menus, error messages, interfaces, dialog, audio/visual elements, subtitling and dubbing, not to mention all the various external marketing resources like manuals, instructions, packaging, covers and advertising.
There are two key aims underpinning the process of video game translation:
- To stay true to the intentions of the developers by correctly translating all information contained in the game
- To remove any linguistic and cultural bias that could lead to unintentional negative perceptions
This final point is a crucial one, because a translation that fails to take into account the target market’s culture risks serious repercussions to the brand’s reputation and bottom line.
And that’s before you address the various complexities of how the video game is to be used. The multi-platform strategies adopted by the vast majority of the video game industry mean that different technical specifications need to be adhered to depending on whether a game is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) or another genre designed to be used on a mobile device, computer, social media platform and so on.
The only way to guarantee a quality translation is to work with industry professionals: native speaker translators with extensive knowledge of the source and target cultures (the country in which the video game was produced and the country to which it is to be exported) and – no less importantly – a deep passion for gaming.
Here at Way2Global, we’ve got plenty of people that fit the bill. Our project managers can ensure that clients get the most appropriate service for them, choosing the best translators and the ideal workflow to help clients to get their video game exports booming.