Localisation of video games: What is it?

Published on 02/10/2023

Video game localisation is the process of adapting a video game for different regions. This includes translating the game text, editing cultural references to make them appropriate for a certain region, and modifying certain aspects of the game to comply with the rules of that region.

The localisation process can be divided into two main stages: translation and quality control. The translation stage is carried out by a translation agency with professionals specialised in video games and the technological world. They translate all the text contained in the video game from one language to another. The quality control stage is carried out by people who are fluent in both languages and who know what is culturally appropriate for that region. They check all the texts translated by the translators and correct any errors or mistakes found, as well as making sure that all culturally appropriate aspects for that region have been taken care of.

What are the challenges of video game localisation?

Video games are an art form. They are also a form of entertainment and generate huge profits for development companies. They are so popular that they have been translated into many different languages. Video game localisation is a very broad process, ranging from adapting video games for the international market, including translation, voice acting to content and interface changes. The localisation process is challenging because there are several factors to consider before starting the project. It is a challenge for a translation company, as the material is usually produced in English originally. It is then necessary to convert this material to Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese or whatever language is required.

Video games are hugely popular, especially those that entail the investment of a great deal of money. These games offer the largest and most immediate returns, so the translation process must be up to the task. The localisation of a video game involves many factors, but the cultural factor must never be neglected. The country of origin of the video game may have certain issues that need to be qualified in another language in order to make full sense in the target country. This will provide the greatest player experience, ensuring that no strange jumps are present in the development or plot of the video game.

How is video game localisation complemented by the Internet?

Video game localisation is a complex process that requires a lot of time, money and expertise. It is also important that the game is localised for the target audience. For example, if the company is targeting an English-speaking audience in the United States, the game will have to be translated into American English and not British English. Localisation solutions can help in this process by providing the necessary tools for localisation, such as translation software and localisation tools. These solutions can help with translation, in-game text editing, voice recording and more. But there is no doubt that the human factor is the one that ultimately ensures that the whole localisation process is successful.

The state of the industry and the video game localisation business

Video game localisation is a multi-billion dollar industry that has existed for more than four decades. With the rise of gaming, the localisation industry has grown exponentially. The global state of business is constantly changing and evolving with new technologies and innovations.

Companies are investing heavily in the globalisation of their games to reach a wider audience in different markets. The globalisation of video games can be seen as a way to increase revenues by accessing new markets and expanding their customer base. It is clear that the future is very promising, but that professional solutions must be found to ensure that the final experience is a very positive one.

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Virginia Pacheco's picture
Virginia Pacheco

Blog writer and Community Manager interested in multiculturality and linguistic diversity. From her native Venuzuela, she has travelled and lived for many years in France, Germany, Cameroon and Spain, passing on her passion for writing and her intercultural experiences.

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