Games for video are a world beyond imagination. Literally, that’s the case! A PlayStation, Game Boy or even a smartphone are the gateways to an incredible world. What is even more impressive is that, regardless of nationality or creed, colour or language, gamers across the globe are playing identical games.
How do you make that happen?
Video game localization and translation enable these digital delights to reign over the gaming world’s diverse population.
Video game localization
Hardware and software for video games require a change in order to allow them to be played in new areas.
Think about some of the names below: Masaya Matsuura, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Satoshi Tajiri, Hideo Kojima as well as Shigeru Miyamoto. Are you aware they are five Japanese gentlemen are among the top 10 video game designers? Games such as Metal Gear and the all-consuming Pokemon are universally popular due to the power of translation of video games and localisation.
The what, why, and how to localize
Economic factors influence the decision to limit games. The primary factor is profit. Financial viability is a factor that determines the amount to be localized.
The first step is to not allow localisation at all. This is feasible if creators believe that the game is a possibility to be sold in a new location without making any changes.
The third option is to localise only the manuals and packaging, and not even the game itself. This is possible if your target market is fair.
Ability to understand the original language, or the game doesn’t have a lot of text or the story.
The third stage is to translate the game’s text while keeping the audio files that were initially recorded, thereby making the game accessible in another language without the expense of hiring actors to voice over. Subtitles can assist in the progression of the game.
The final stage is the primary Job of localisation, in which all the game’s components will be translated and localised- boxes, packaging, text for the game guides, graphics, manuals and more.
The process of localisation
There are a lot of assets in an online game, and the localisation must take into account each one.
The translation of texts is a considerable portion of localisation. Not just scripts, manuals and subtitles, but even tools like word processors, or an online browser, which make games interactive, require translation into the language of the destination.
There is also the requirement for company logos and legal labelling requirements technical details such as. That needs to be transliterated. The text must be modified and used to correspond with the language of the intended target.
Art assets need to be modified to preserve the game’s aesthetics.
Audio recordings must be done by a professional, and the accents and the manner of speaking of the actors are required to be altered to reflect the local culture.
The game can be cut into parts, either by removing the game or adding new game content.
Localisation of video games aims to make a game enjoyable, and this can only be achieved when the game is a part of the context of culture.
Culture is important.
The games of today are more narrative than action-driven. In these cases, localisation must take into account the intended audience’s needs and avoid the pitfalls of situations that are sensitive to the audience. Two examples:
Games that are explicitly localised for the German market must take into account the strict laws of the country against depictions of violence, blood or irreverent behaviour, as well as inappropriate words, as well as the use of racist symbols such as those of the Nazi Swastika.
China is not an open society. It has strict censorship rules for content. Anything that could be considered to compromise the unity of the Chinese or infringe on China’s territorial security Chinese is banned.
Localisation should stay away from controversy, or all the money invested in the process is thrown into the trash in the event that Big Brother is able to take down the product. This is the reason that most video games take place in fictional locations and worlds!
Localisation shipping models
There are two areas in the game’s development process in which localisation could occur.
The post-gold model lets localisers have access to a finished game and carry out their job. Because the image is finished and the translation errors are minimal and not noticeable even. The downside of this type of shipping model is that there’s some time between the initial release and localised versions, which could open the way to the possibility of piracy.
The sim-ship (simultaneous shipping) model is designed to allow simultaneously releasing games across a variety of markets. Although this avoids the danger of piracy, it’s more vulnerable to errors in translation. The reason is that a complete edition of the game might not be accessible to localizers, resulting in a misreading of its context. It’s similar to working on improving a jig-saw with a lot of elements missing.
Who is responsible for the localisation?
Video games are becoming increasingly complex and intricate. In the 2000s, a lone wolf localiser with a phrasebook was enough to do the necessary translation/localisation. Today, localisation and translation of content in, for instance, five different languages can take up to 130 people and 270 actors! This is how complicated and lengthy the process has grown!
Localization of video games requires experience and is the responsibility of highly skilled experts. The outsourcing of translation and localisation work to professionals is a wise choice.
Stealing intellectual property
With the imminent threat to IP, the selection of the company that will translate the game becomes essential. Due to the worry about leaks and piracy, the majority of outsourcers release a small portion of games accessible. Blind localisation is working without background information, which can result in many mistakes in-game language and translation. Sometimes playing a nearly-finished game gives a localisers clear idea of what’s required and gives them the opportunity to make improvements to their work.
Employing a knowledgeable, skilled, enthusiastic and reliable team, you can be assured of the highest quality translation and localisation for a business or product. Mayflower Language Services is all of these and more. We are ISO certified. ISO certification is not less an endorsement of our quality than Mayflower’s connection with the best of the industry, such as FICCI as well as NASSCOM.
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I am an expert in the field of language and translation services. I have experience in document translation, translating to and from English to German video game localisation and also provide Multilingual email Support. I am enthusiastic about localizing international brands to reach their intended audience efficiently.