20 Feb /14

Game On

multilingual video game translationsFor many people, there is nostalgia in video games and gaming systems. From the early days of the Atari 2600 to the Nintendo craze of the 1990s, the development of gaming consoles has become an object of nostalgic commemoration, especially for the millennial generation. Through the benevolent lens of selective memory, the very issues that drove players insane now appear as cute quirks of pioneering systems. Who doesn’t remember the choppy graphics, seemingly endless loading-screen, and utterly confusing English transliterations of the Japanese screenshots?

In the last three decades, gaming system have not only come a long way technologically, but their market has also expanded dramatically. Instead of just developing and marketing video game products to the tech-savvy teenagers of Japan, North America and parts of Europe, companies, such as Microsoft and Sony, are now marketing “entertainment consoles” to a global and diverse audience. Evidence of this can be seen by looking at sales and shipping data from early December for Sony’s PS4. Of the first 2.1 million units sold, approximately 30% (700,000 units) were purchased overseas. Though Microsoft just recently released the Xbox One, the platform is already fully supported in languages such as German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian.

Not only does this demonstrate that the market is expanding and diversifying, but it also shows the potential for further diversification of the gaming market. For example, considering the burgeoning middle classes in emerging markets, how much more could Microsoft and Sony potentially increase their sales by better localizing their products to consumers in China, India, Russia, or the Arab world? However, in order to effectively address these potential markets, console makers have to take the initiative and specifically address the localized needs of these markets and make their games relevant to the cultural background of their target audience and understandable in their native language.

Localizing a product, however, means more than just changing a couple of words or a phrase in the end product. Producing a properly localized game means to rework all texts, audios, menus, potentially graphics, and sometimes even storylines. Moreover, there is additional work required in harmonizing the localized code (and localized coding teams) with the base system/console requirements.

Overall, making the systems and the games applicable to individual locales requires a concerted and coordinated effort between hardware producers, developers, and marketers. From developers to programmers to the actual console manufacturers, the process of successful localization demands an integrated process in order to address the needs and desires in each individual market, regardless of whether that market speaks Arabic, Han Chinese, or Hindi.

EVS Translations is the ideal localization expert for the gaming industry. Based in Atlanta (USA) and Nottingham (UK), our game translators, designers and IT specialists can offer you the technical expertise required for multi-language video game translation projects. We help video game console manufacturers to expand into new markets by providing quality multilingual translations and marketing localization services.
EVS Translations operates 7 offices in 5 countries with teams of multi-lingual engineering translators and an in-house IT team, which comprises of software experts who can work with any platform including PC, Mac, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, PSP and all handheld devices.

Call our Atlanta office today at +1 404-523-5560 or send us an email: quoteusa(at)evs-translations.com.

Call our Nottingham office today at Tel.: +44-115-9 64 42 88 or send us an email: quoteuk(at)evs-translations.com.