Know Video Game Localization and Its Importance

Video game localization is a method to translate your video game into a particular locale in order to sell in that area or region. Localization of video game is more than just the translation of the game content to some other language.

The objective of localization is to make sure that the video game works without any obstruction in the translated language to provide the visitors an excellent experience in gaming.

What does Video Game Localization means?

Video game localization can be defined as the procedure of translating the content of your game according to the language of target locale, regional and legal requirements while maintaining the cultural values.

It includes the translation of the audio transcripts, game text, art assets, etc. This cannot be accomplished without the two elements- Culturalization and internationalization.

1- Culturalization

It allows the gamers to engage in the gaming content without any cultural interruptions. It is a vital aspect in making the content relevant according to the local culture.

The game you have localized must be sensitive to the culture, beliefs, religion, history, etc. of the target locale.

2- Internationalization

It is a process through which the localization of game completes effortlessly. By internationalization, one can empower the code, architecture, etc. of the game content in many languages. The whole idea behind this is to completely eliminate the presence of any such element that makes it different by the locale.

Steps for Video Game Localization

Video game localization can be performed using seven simple steps mentioned below:

1. Identify a content that can be localized
2. Define the process of localization
3. Extract the content to be localized
4. Export the content to be localized
5. Translate the game content (audio, text, etc.)
6. Import or integrate the localized content
7. Examine the localized content

How Video Game Localization is distinct?

Video games are completely different from the other software as they are concerned to the interactive publishing and contain many multimedia contents (audio, text, images, etc.) that includes in the localization process.

You must also take into consideration the account screen translation that is done in the form of dubbing and subtitling apart from the traditional practices.

The main priority of the localization software is functionality but creativity and originality cannot be ignored while taking into account the good measures for localization.

If you want to preserve the video game to its original version then the standard practices are not always transferable. There are certain specific practices that can be adopted to localize the video, audio, images, and other multimedia elements.

Why is there a need for expert Video Game Localization Services?

Game developers usually try to use the localization services of the companies that are not experts in this area. And In worst cases, they end up localizing on their own or by using the services from the freelance translator or the Google translate.

The translators that are not professionals might not be gamers and have no knowledge of the gaming world. The game developers are not translators and therefore they may have no knowledge how the translation works. These constraints may end up providing the low video quality of the game or even ruin the localized game in certain cases.

You should only invest your time and money in the localization services providers who are experts in this area and are proficient in having the clear understanding of the terminologies of game and a command over the languages as localization is beneficial to higher the sales.

Work with these experts from the initial stage of design in order to make your localized game more user-friendly. These companies hire translators who are linguistic professionals and can make a perfect tuning with the slang of the localized audience.

Why is it important?

If you are into the game developing industry, you must be aware of an old game, Zero Wing which is still remembered for its infamous translation of video games. It is an old shooter game which was popular for its line “All your base are belong to us”.

The right translation from Japanese should read it as “All of your bases are now under our control” but it was a complete failure due to the poor grammar. This phrase generated many animations, internet memes, animation, etc. mentioning the slogan that went viral in 2000.

This was the year 2000 when the gaming industry was not really having a global reach but now, in year 2017, it is quite a big deal as there are billions of gamers associated from all over the world.

Global Market for the Video Games

According to a recent report of the global games market released by Newzoo, there is estimation for video game global market to reach $108.9 billion in the year 2017.

There is an estimation of having 2.2 billion gamers from all across the world and the 47 percent of the total revenue will be of APAC territories and will stand at approx. $51.2 billion.


Hi, Myself Preeti Chauhan. I am an advanced level language learner and an aspiring foreign language translator. My passion and love for languages has always motivated me to travel to distant places, learn new cultures, languages and traditions. Therefore, whatever I learn or observe, I describe the same to my readers, in the form of detailed articles and blogs.

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