5 hot trends in video game localization
August 6, 2013
Worldwide demand for video games is on the rise, but the international success of any given game is possible only through video game localization. Adapting a video game to different languages and cultures is complex and challenging, but these 5 hot trends will help ensure a successful video game localization.
#1. Linguistic and Cultural Aspects
Video game localization aims to create a fluid playing experience for each target audience, while remaining as close to the original as possible. This can be a challenge, since cultures may vary significantly in their tolerance for violence and crude language. Work with native-language translators for each target audience to ensure that the linguistic and cultural nuances are expressed as naturally as possible.
#2. Graphics and music
The choice of music may vary, depending on hot trends in specific regions or nations, and some graphic elements may need to be altered as well. Symbols can be interpreted quite differently from one language to the next, causing significant changes in meaning. The graphic elements of video game localization must be analyzed and altered wherever necessary.
#3. Dubbing vs. Subtitling
One hot trend in video games is the use of famous actors for voice-overs. Equally well-known voices should be used in each of the target languages whenever possible. Increased importance is placed on voice-over quality in video games, and the quality of each localized version should be as close as possible to the original. Subtitling is a much less costly solution, but this option could have a negative effect on the game’s playability since subtitles may be distracting in a high-action game.
#4. Technical Considerations
Some languages use different keyboard layouts or may require more space for text than others. For this reason, images should be created in a way that allows them to be separated from text. Similarly, video game soundtracks must be carefully synced to the translated audio. Keep voice tracks separate from the background soundtrack to make video game localization easier.
Video game localization usually allows for a uniquely creative translation of the original text. This is because dialogue scripts and narration must be as natural as possible, in order to ensure the highest degree of playability within each target culture. Video games are meant to be fun, and the players want to lose themselves in the game. This is not possible if the text is poorly translated, making video game localization extremely important to the success of a game on a global scale.
If you would like additional information on this topic or have questions on planning and executing your next translation or multilingual initiative, contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation or call us at (800) 413-7838.