There is no denying that video games have become an integral part of millennial life. This is probably because they allow the player to lead an alternative life, full of adventures and challenges. Gambling is a truly global industry today, a $ 60 billion industry.
In 2010, a video game distributor in Brazil revealed that a game translated into Portuguese multiplied its sales 15 times. This underscores the importance of video game localization: it also underscores the need for quality translation and localization.
Despite the importance of game localization, companies make the mistake of opting for poor-quality shortcuts that are costly to repair, generate bad publicity, and hurt sales.
What are the localization mistakes that gaming companies make?
# 1. Cut corners in translation
Many video game companies think they have saved money by opting for machine translations or by considering the cheapest translation option over the best one.
Machines are a long way from producing the necessary precision. Translation tools can also be a security threat by providing hackers with access to video game content over the Internet.
In addition, everything that is written for translation is literally handed over to the provider of the translation tool: it becomes your data; they can do whatever they want with it.
The translation must not only be accurate, but also retain the flavor and nuances of the original to bring the translated version to life.
The wrong translation can make the game a frustrating experience for the player or make the game developer a laughingstock of the gaming world; at worst, it can lead the developer into legal soup.
Cuts in translation increase work and expenses. The sensible thing to do would be to use professional translation services that are not only competent and creative, but also discreet. Having the translation agency sign a confidentiality agreement can help the game developer relax while localization is done safely in expert hands.
# 2. Text encoding in central files
This is something that video game developers with limited vision do. It is a mistake to embed text elements such as menu text, game title, and screen printed dialog in the main game files. If the text is stored in a separate resource file, it will be easy to incorporate a translated version by adding a new variable and providing the translation in a separate dedicated file. Much easier than searching the source code during translation?
# 3. Paint all the text of the game with the same brush
Some games involve specialized terminology. Take sports games; Soccer terminology is not the same as talking about basketball. Translators and localizers for these games need to do some research. Here you need a “research-oriented text.”
Games like the popular and addictive Candy Crush introduce new game concepts. Such games are classified as requiring “creativity-oriented text.”
Game developers must analyze the content of their game and decide which category of text is suitable. The text must be tailored to the content and the translator’s folder must match this need.
# 4. Game localization out of context
To be sure, there is little to be gained by delivering large amounts of text to translators and localizers who know little about the game or its content. Worse yet, you’re waiting for someone who has no idea of games to take over the job!
When the location of the game is of such importance, the more the translator knows about the game, the better the result. Translators should be encouraged to play the game that is being developed. Discretion and security are non-negotiable requirements, of course.
# 5. Ignore cultural factors
Each market is steeped in its own culture. Cultural sensitivity is necessary when localizing a game or the developer will run the risk of alienating the target audience. It’s not just about the actual content of the game, such as the story, characters, situations, and events.
Consider the following:
A gaming giant had to recall 75,000 copies of a video game that used the chant of the Quran in its soundtrack after a user raised objections.
The description of the Japanese armies invading South Korea may be part of the story; however, Seoul was offended by a game that showed just that.
Misdemeanor location crimes can range from displaying alcohol to displaying blood and blood on the screen. When localizing, game developers will do themselves a favor by doing a thorough survey of the target market. Cultural errors are not to be taken lightly, and the contrary publicity that surrounds them can end the game if not the developer company.
# 6. Don’t test game translations
The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
Translation tends to change the length of the sentence. Translated strings may not conform to graphics or user interface elements. Encoding can also leave some strings missing. All of this can be avoided if the developers test their games on a real device.
On-device localization tests can allow you to assess the overall quality of the game’s localization while also identifying bugs. If the game has a dialog printed on the screen, it is necessary to automatically adjust the text to fit the text space.
# 7. Mismanagement of the translation content
Game developers need to organize all the different formats and files: marketing copy, manual, packaging, app store descriptions, game interface text, and subtitles. The management of translations must be centralized to avoid translation errors and duplications in the different types of content.
# 8. Treat the location as an afterthought
Thinking of localization as the last step in the development cycle is a costly mistake that many game developers make and end up missing out on great opportunities abroad. When knockoff versions hit the local market, these companies realize they’ve gotten into a corner. Only then do they think of finding new markets abroad. Localization in this “final” stage means reworking the source code and creating translation materials from scratch – all of which costs time and money.
The solution is to wrap strings in the early stages of video game development and adopt coding styles from international standards.
There are many players abroad. The video game market is constantly growing. Talented and professional translation services can be of great help in perfecting video game localization.
Being ready for localization is the name of the game!