3 Reasons Why Video Game Localization Is Critical to a Game’s Success
California is clearly the hub of the video game industry. Numerous video game companies call the Golden State home, including the gaming powerhouses of Playstation, Activision, Electronic Arts (EA), and Blizzard Entertainment. Because California’s gaming companies often export their products abroad and market to audiences of different language groups, it is essential for these organizations to seek the help of video game localization. Here are three reasons why video game localization is a must for gaming companies in today’s global economy.
Video Game Localization Can Improve A Game’s Cultural Awareness
Video game localization refers to the process by which games are altered in order to be palatable to foreign markets. Content translation alone simply isn’t enough. Before games can be disseminated across the globe, the game’s content must be properly localized. Oftentimes, American cultural aspects do not translate well in foreign countries. For instance, certain jokes or phrases popular in one country might be considered offensive in other countries. The creation of Pac-Man by Namco in 1980 serves as a prime example of how this can occur. The original Japanese title for the game was Puck-Man. However, since the title bore resemblance to an American curse word, Namco decided to change the game’s name to its iconic title. Clearly, content localization plays a critical role in making sure that foreign audiences are able to enjoy a game and its content.
Video Game Localization Improves the Player’s Experience
In addition to demonstrating cultural sensitivity, localization can improve the player experience. Video games typically feature a lot of text; the 2008 game, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, featured dialogue equivalent in length to around 40 novels. Understandably, in order to ensure that players have an enjoyable time playing the game, video game companies should go to great lengths to invest in high-quality translation and localization services. Failure to properly translate and localize in-game text can lead to embarrassing misinterpretations and ruin a game’s immersive nature.
Video Game Localization Makes Software User-Friendly
Finally, software localization services are essential for video game companies. Software formatting differs across cultures. Even graphic design can have a great impact on how a game is received by a foreign audience. Enter the role of software localization. Software localization serves the important function of adapting software for use in foreign countries. The localization process includes adapting everything from loading screens to drop-down menus to make them easy to understand regardless of language or culture. This process creates a more user-friendly experience and thus makes the game even better. Clearly, localization and translation services in California can greatly help video game companies expand their global reach and create a better experience for all gamers.