Video Game Localization and Linguistic Testing Services
Traditionally, video game localization has tended to come as an afterthought—something that’s “nice to have”. However, today, the video game industry is booming and studios are seeking to reach new markets. For this reason, the need for quality localization services has been growing rapidly. Nowadays, an increasing number of companies want their games localized not only into the traditional “FIGS” (French, Italian, German & Spanish), but also into more diverse locales (Spanish from Mexico, Portuguese from Brazil, etc.) and languages such as Portuguese, Russian, Chinese & Vietnamese. Whatever language you need, our team will select the right experts to meet your needs and recreate the style of your game in a different locale.
Video Game Localization
According to the Globalization and Localization Association, “localization (also referred to as l10n) is the process of adapting a product or service to a specific locale. Translation is only one of several elements in the localization process. […] The aim of localization is to give a product or service the look and feel of having been created specifically for a target market, no matter their language, cultural preferences, or location.”
The importance of context
A qualified translator will often ask questions and request more context in order to render your meaning in the most appropriate way. Context is crucial, especially in such a diverse medium as video games. In order to get it right, we need to understand what your game is about, what it looks like, how the universe is organized, etc. The more resources we get, the better the translation! Whether it’s a beta version of your game, a walkthrough video, a detailed script or the like, it will help us get the same look and feel in the localized versions. Sometimes adding simple pictures/screenshots, comments or even notes about the gender of the characters can be invaluable to linguists, in order to avoid unnecessary mistakes and remove the need for bug fixing after the testing phase. It’s a win-win!
Our team will use the resources you provide us with to ensure that the translations are perfectly adapted to the context of the game and to the target audience’s culture.
Some challenges related to video game localization
Video game localization presents a wide variety of challenges, depending on the game’s genre. While MMORPGs will consist of a high volume of words with many variables and issues related to gender neutrality, simulators, for instance, will require very technical vocabulary and knowledge. Conciseness and character limits are also a key concern for video games in order to declutter the interface, along with compliance to platform-specific terminology. Video game localizers have to be very versatile in order to tackle these diverse challenges in an appropriate way. Our team of qualified professionals will draw on their experience and knowledge to spot and handle these challenges adequately, while offering relevant advice and suggestions in order to improve localization and make the experience as enjoyable as possible for the players.
Even when the quality of your game’s translation is spotless, you may run into trouble once the localized versions have been fully integrated. Typos, inconsistencies, bleeding text, truncated words and untranslated strings are just a few of the bugs you may encounter at this stage, so it’s always a good idea to save some time (and budget!) for linguistic testing before the grand release.
Our language professionals will perform a final quality control check and report any linguistic bugs that they encounter, so that they can be fixed prior to the release.
In order to immerse players even more, you’ll need the audio files adapted as well, rather than just the interface and subtitles. We work with a diverse network of seasoned voice actors who will be able to bring your vision to life. We can provide samples based on your requirements (age, tone of voice, etc.) so you can find your perfect fit.
A Few References
• Budge Studios (wide variety of mobile games for kids – French, Latin American Spanish, Spanish from Spain, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Italian & Turkish mainly)
• Studio Cerberus (racing game – US English and Spanish from Spain)
• Reflector Entertainment (cross-platform entertainment project – Spanish, Italian, German & Brazilian Portuguese)
• Unruly Studios (programming software & mobile game application for kids – Canadian French & Latin American Spanish)
Paul Zdanowicz, CCO at Unruly Studios: “It’s been a fantastic experience working with you and your team. […] I really appreciate how thorough and thoughtful your team is in their inquiries.”