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How to Create an Effective Game Localization Plan in 2024

By: Admin Posted on Mon, 19-02-2024

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Gaming is a diversified industry. There are various game types, genres, and player's preferences. This brings in great pressure on developers to create a game flawlessly suitable for global audiences.

Some make their way to success with a little effort, whereas others stay behind with the hope of doing their best. Well, in the gaming world, liking and disliking a game is a matter of a few facts. Those who know, enjoy the success, high app store rankings, and generate impressive revenue. On the other hand, those who do not know keep struggling.

Table of Content

  1. What is Game Localization?
  2. Why Game Localization is Important?
    1. Wider Global Reach
    2. Culturalization
    3. Improved App Store Ranking
    4. Competitive Edge
    5. Quality Assurance
  3. What Gaming Elements Need to be Localized?
    1. Storyline
    2. Character Names
    3. User Interface
    4. Locations and Visuals
    5. App Description
    6. Keywords
    7. Captions
  4. What are the Latest Game Localization Trends?
    1. AI and Big Data Technology
    2. Localized In-game Economies and Digital Assets
    3. Quality Assurance Testing (QAT)
    4. Cloud Gaming for Seamless Access
  5. How You Can Create an Effective Game Localization Plan?
    1. Define Your Goals
    2. Know the Breadth and Depth of the Content
    3. Determine Your Target Market
    4. Schedule the Localization Project
    5. Choose the Right Tools
  6. Get Your Game Ready to Thrill in 2024!

In this blog, we have come up with a foolproof gaming localization plan that can make your global reach adequate and successful. Let's begin with the introduction to game localization to ensure the consistent flow of the blog.

What is Game Localization?

Well, there is no rocket science. Localization is simply the process of adapting content to a target audience while making it linguistically and culturally accurate. In the context of gaming, it refers to making a game suitable for the target audience by translating the gaming elements into a preferred target language.

We can say that localization is the evolved phase of translation. Where translation is the conversion of one language into another localization ensures the linguistic, cultural, and emotional preferences of the target users and translates the content accordingly.

Why Game Localization is Important?

If you are still connected to the blog, it means you are finding it interesting. And a few questions will be popping up in your mind. Let me guess. You are thinking about the importance of localization in the gaming industry. Well, these are simple things that most of us don’t think about. But, don’t worry. We have listed down almost every benefit you can get from localization and show the importance of game localization. So, keep reading.

1. Wider Global Reach

localization allows you to reach a wider audience by providing them with an exceptional gaming experience in their native language. You may have read it multiple times but not everyone tells what it actually means. So, read carefully to know!

The gaming industry is rapidly growing. In recent years, the industry has seen significant growth. It means it is not going to stop anytime soon. The continuously increasing demand is simultaneously setting great pressure on developers to come up with innovative and catchy ideas.

When you launch your game without localization, you are losing a high number of potential audiences. You might get a good ranking on the app store in your region, but what about the global market? People like to play games that are available in their local language. It helps them understand the game’s concept, storyline, settings, and content easily.

2. Culturalization

Other than languages, you need to take care of many things, and culture is the most important of them. No matter whether you are targeting a specific region or a global audience, ensuring cultural nuances is crucial. But, it is not as simple as it seems. It is hard to understand and learn about a new market's culture, behavior, and habits.

For example, how would you know about the culture of Malay people without visiting Malaysia and living there for a particular time? Well, it’s difficult but not possible. Localization makes your games linguistically and culturally accurate and suitable for the target audience.

3. Improved App Store Ranking

Localization enhances your game’s optimization capacity and app store ranking. Most gaming developers do not get the estimated outcomes and achieve the app store ranking they wish for. If they analyze what they are doing wrong, they will find the non-localized content of their games as the answer. Well, the effects of keywords in the optimization and ranking of a game are understood already. Therefore, it is crucial to localize the keywords while launching a game in the global market.

To develop a better understanding, let’s dig a little deeper. Keywords are region and language-specific. Whenever you search a keyword, the search engine will show you the close or region-specific results. It means you can search for anything until you translate the keywords into the target language.

4. Competitive Edge

The gaming industry is highly saturated with hundreds of thousands of games available. At the global level, the competition even gets tougher. A lot of gaming companies and developers are struggling to achieve their goals. Some might have better field experience than you. Then what will you be fighting for? What gives you the confidence that you can survive in the global market with the same things others are already promoting? It's localization.

Moreover, localization allows you to provide users with a personalized gaming experience. Localization gives developers confidence in creating a game that surpasses the user’s expectations and competitors’ expertise.

5. Quality Assurance

Localization ensures the quality and makes your game suitable and accessible for the target audience. The quality of the product reflects the provider’s motive and proficiency. Would you ever step into a new market with a low-quality product? No, right? Because you know, if you do so, you can lose the customer’s trust and the brand’s reputation. The same fits the gaming strategy.

While going global, you need accurate and precise translation of your gaming content. Although it requires you to spend some buckets of money, believe us, it’s worth it.

What Gaming Elements Need to be Localized?

Game localization is a complex process. It requires great expertise and experience to get your hands on the technical components of any game. However, users give importance to a game that is completely localized in their native language. It means that every element of a game should be linguistically and culturally adaptive to the preferences of the target region.

Different regions have distinct preferences and demands, and meeting them is crucial for successful global reach. So, without any further ado, let’s discuss which gaming elements need to be localized fast:

Storyline

Depending on the game’s genre and type, you need to localize its storyline or do stage-wise translation. Localizing the game’s storyline makes it understandable and easily accessible for the players. It enhances their gaming experience while ensuring better interaction with the game.

Character Names

Localizing character names helps players choose their favorite in-game characters and rename their profile after that particular name. This provides them with confidence and also helps them develop a unique profile setting.

User Interface

The UI is the first thing players interact with. If it's not appealing and effective, users won’t like it. And ultimately, they will uninstall your game and leave a negative review. Localizing the user interface ensures a warm welcome of players in the gaming world and keeps them intact with the game.

Locations and Visuals

It is hard to remember the words or places in some other language. So, localizing the locations and visuals helps players to easily understand the names and also remember them.

App Description

The app or game description is the first thing that the user approaches to see what the game offers. If it is not available in their native language, they won’t find it attractive and will bounce to some other games.

Keywords

Keywords play a crucial role in the optimization of your game in any app store or search engine. Localizing keywords ensures that your game ranks in every region and is searchable in all languages.

Captions

Captions and calls to action are crucial in developing an understanding and letting the players know what to do next. If they don’t understand it, they might lose their interest in your game and stop playing it. Your loss, right?

What are the Latest Game Localization Trends?

Gaming is an ever-evolving industry. The elastic nature of the gaming development and game localization companies allows them to embrace technological advancements and make changes to provide an exceptional experience to gaming enthusiasts. In recent years, the gaming industry has seen a significant rise and is projected to see more success by following these gaming trends:

AI and Big Data Technology

The impact of Artificial intelligence (AI) can be clearly seen in almost all aspects of our lives and games are no exception. With AI-driven technology, gaming companies and developers can now create more complex and dynamic games using machine learning algorithms.

These algorithms are designed to analyze the gamer’s behavior and adapt the game accordingly. Moreover, it helps create a more engaging and personalized gaming experience for players.

Localized In-game Economies and Digital Assets

According to a report, the gaming industry is projected to reach $3.32 billion by the end of 2024. You cannot imagine gameplay without in-game assets. They enhance the gaming experience by providing players with cosmetic upgrades, unique abilities, or access to exclusive content. These assets could be anything, ranging from armor and character skins to powerful weapons, virtual states, and emotes.

Moreover, in-game assets have economic implications within the gaming industry. They can be bought, sold, and traded among players often forming vibrant virtual economies. Moreover, in-game assets contribute to the monetization strategies of game developers, as players may purchase them directly or through microtransactions, providing a sustainable revenue stream.

Localized in-game economies make players from diverse backgrounds capable of doing the trade easily. If not perfectly localized, there are changes of misinterpretation that can destroy the business and have a great impact on the gaming company’s goodwill.

Quality Assurance Testing (QAT)

Due to the highly saturated market, gaming companies and developers do not leave even a single string loss. The whole game development process is done under the great supervision of professional localizers.

The localization quality assurance is the last stage in the game localization process. In this process, the primary focus is on linguistic and cultural nuances. Moreover, it also covers UI/UX evaluation, compliance testing, globalization, and functional testing.

Cloud Gaming for Seamless Access

One of the craziest trends in the gaming industry is cloud gaming. Now is the time to set up the console and buy hardware to play games. Although the concept isn’t new. But now the times have changed and with the advancement in technology, you can play online games anytime anywhere you want.

Another interesting factor is that there is no requirement for the presence of multiple players in the same room. Cloud gaming allows access to create an online room, connect with your friends from the rest of your house, and enjoy the gameplay.

How You Can Create an Effective Planning for the Localization of Games?

As of now, you completely understand the concept and advantages of game localization, how important it is to make your global reach effective, what elements of a game need localization, and the latest game localization trends.

Now, we are sure that you are discussing it with your developers and creators to integrate it into your strategy. Wait, you don’t know the procedure, don’t worry we have got you covered. Here are a few simple yet effective steps that you can take to create a plan for Game localization:

Define Your Goals

The first stage in every localization process is to define goals. It will assist you in identifying the target languages, markets, tools, and budget for the project. A software localization plan differs significantly from a website localization plan, as does a user manual against a marketing advertisement or slogan.

Understanding the goals ensures that your localization project plan receives the necessary support to be implemented successfully. With a defined vision and goals, you can quickly optimize your project to the targeted ROI (Return on Investment), allowing you to set up a long-term localization program.

Moreover, developing a vision before starting the project will assist you in determining internal impediments, technical requirements, and communication gaps before becoming bogged down by the project's details.

Simply put, understanding why you're localizing the material can help you avoid miscommunication, increase your effectiveness, build a cohesive team, meet your expected ROI, and achieve your objectives.

Know the Breadth and Depth of the Content

Understanding which content requires localization will help you control the project's scope and assemble all necessary resources. Make sure you think through what translating your training materials would entail if you have been asked to. To mention a few, you might have instructor-led materials, e-learning materials, online product instructions, and user manuals.

Determine the total word count of your content, as this serves as the foundation for most localization projects' accounting. It will give you a decent sense of the quantity and related expenses. Establishing and setting a budget for the project will be made easier if you are aware of what has to be localized.

Determine Your Target Market

One of the most important things in any localization project plan is knowing your target audience. It's critical to recognize and understand the language you intend to use. Recognizing if you are addressing a more generalized regional variation of the language, such as Latin-American Spanish, or a more localized language and community, such as Argentinian Spanish.

Know that your target audience can influence the way your material is translated, how much translations cost, and how successful your localization project is as a whole.

Schedule the Localization Project

Being well aware of your internal deadlines and cognizant of the translators' time limits can mean the difference between a project being completed on schedule and one that is delayed.

Taking into account the potential contributions of glossaries, CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools, and TM (Translation Memories), you can set the tasks for translators and correspondingly follow the project. You'll be able to forecast project due dates and deadlines thanks to this. It will also allow you to manage the project better and improve efficiency.

Choose the Right Tools

This is where you'll combine your research and preparation to answer all of the questions above. There are numerous possibilities in the localization toolbox.

You can hire your translators, send an RFP or RFI to different LSPs (language service providers), purchase your own TMS (translation management system), use MT and NMT (neural machine translation), use Google cookie add-ins, and a variety of other possibilities.

So, how do you decide what will work best for your localization project? You must determine what is most crucial to the success of the localization effort and prioritize those requirements first.

Localization initiatives, like other projects, are centered on time, quality, and cost. You must first determine the most critical aspects of the localization project, and then select the tools that will best assist you achieve your objectives.

Get Your Game Ready to Thrill in 2024!

Localization is crucial for all types of games consisting of any genre. To solve this problem, you always need a professional Game localization company.  Mars Translation is a leading Gaming Localization agency that helps gaming companies and developers to effectively reach the global market and create their place in a saturated market in a short period. Therefore, game localization is a complex process. It is wise to trust only professionals with your game as poor translation can cost you a lot and damage your brand’s image. Starting the game development process without preparing a localization strategy can double the production cost.

Moreover, a perfectly designed game localization strategy plays a crucial role in the success of any game. A plan helps you to clear your goals, know the breadth of the gaming content, follow the right routine, and choose trusted resources. Creating a legitimate gaming localization plan will prove a win-win opportunity for gaming companies and developers.