As the world becomes more connected through the internet, video game localization is becoming an increasingly vital part of the industry. Most major video game developers either have integrated localization teams or use the services of a dedicated video game localization company. Whether it’s through a specialized company or in-house, developers are understanding that localization is integral to their global marketing campaigns. Below are three reasons why localization is an integral part of marketing to an international audience
Video game translation is one of the most important parts of the video game localization process, and one that is absolutely vital to a global marketing campaign. A video game cannot be successfully sold across the world if players don’t have the option to play the game in their native language. Practically, this means that all the text, dialogue, in-game content, and marketing materials need to be translated. Without this, it is functionally impossible to consider selling a game in other countries. For this reason, translation services, including audio translation services, are critical to the localization process as a whole. Using the services of a professional gaming localization company is imperative to prevent bad video game translations from plaguing a game.
Cultural values, taboos, and traditions vary wildly across different countries; an integral part of the video game localization services process is cultural adaptation. To be able to market a video game all over the world, the game must be culturally accessible to all players, whether they live in China, the US, Europe, or in any other market. Chinese cultural values are completely different from those in the US; what is portrayed in a video game can be considered taboo in China, but not necessarily in the US. Part of the importance of video game localization is this process of cultural adaption. An example of this would be changing characters’ names or removing depictions of various cultures and religions. A localization team will go through a game and make sure that the contents are culturally appropriate for each country the game is marketed in. A fully culturally adapted game will sell better than one which has not been adapted.
Understanding the laws with regard to publishing video games in different countries is vital to the success of the game. You can’t profit off the game if it can’t be sold! Legal localization is part of the game localization process, where some of the game’s content is adapted to fit the publishing laws of the target country. Countries around the world have vastly different laws when it comes to what can and cannot be depicted in a video game. For example, in China, video games cannot depict religious imagery or symbols. In Australia, games cannot be sold that have explicit sexual or violent content. For a game to be successfully marketed across the world, it must go through the legal localization process.
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