The media localization market is massive. In 2022, the global revenue generated by the sector reached $331.8 billion. By 2027, the market is expected to grow to over $400 billion. A major portion of this market is video game localization. The video game localization process is perhaps best exemplified by Ubisoft’s recent decision to expand their audience by investing in localization services to bring Assassin’s Creed to their Arabic speaking audience.
Ubisoft Invests in Video Game Localization
The video game industry is seeing an increase in video game translation and localization. One company at the forefront of this trend is Ubisoft, which has been releasing most of its big titles in French with the help of French translation services. However, with the popularity of one of their leading video game series, Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft decided they wanted to offer their games in Arabic. Localizing a game into Arabic can be challenging as there are over 50 different dialects spoken by Arabic players across more than 20 countries. Let’s take a look at how Ubisoft successfully released one of their most successful series for the Arabic-speaking world.
Video Game Localization Challenges With Arabic
Formal Arabic is the most widely spoken and understood dialect, and it is typically used by localization teams. However, the use of Formal Arabic can also present challenges as the same word can have different meanings in different countries. To address these challenges, Ubisoft collaborates with leading Arabic translation services to ensure appropriate wording and style. The selection of voice actors is also crucial in bringing characters to life, and Ubisoft’s localization teams, in collaboration with their language service provider, conduct extensive research to match the voices with the character’s bios, art design, and style guides.
The Localization Process
The game localization process for Arabic also involves modifying the game interface to suit a right-to-left reading direction, which can take more than 100 days to complete, including translation, proofreading, audio recording preparation, and recording sessions. As a result, this complex and delicate process requires the help of a specialized video game localization company. In the case of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, more than 60 Arabic actors were involved in the recording process. The localization of video games is a vital process that requires the collaboration of both professional translation services and video game localization services. Ubisoft’s commitment to providing quality localized games to its audience is evident in the tremendous effort and resources that went into the localization of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate for Arabic-speaking players.
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