Global Gaming – The Importance of Gaming Localization and Translation Today

Games have grown from an Atari of dots and pixels in the ‘80s, based around the simplest of concepts, to the huge, sprawling worlds – some the size of a small country – that are now commonplace on consoles and PCs today. In the USA alone, the gaming industry is now worth $60.4bn, and it is set to grow. With the presence of the Xbox Game Store and its rivals, such as Steam and the Playstation Store, there’s no need for a physical copy of a game to be shipped anymore. A game can now be released anywhere, anytime, in any territory.

But innovation doesn’t require a disruptive and painful means of deployment.

Games being a globalized industry means that the game itself now has to be global – and that requires localization services. Gaming localization and translation is a key part of that. It’s not just a case of making sure that the menus and the instructions are in a local language anymore – it is about localizing the whole game in concepts that make sense to the host audience. That includes subtitling or, for big-budget titles, dubbing and voice-overs and a whole new audio production assignment. It includes translating game instructions and ideas in ways that users will respond to – a meeting of the mid-point between translation and game design. Localization also includes marketing for the game as well, ensuring it is brought in front of the audience in a way that is relevant to them. These are all part of what Jonckers can provide for gaming localization services.

Humorous game (mis)translations have taken on their own lives – the phrase ‘All your base are belong to us’ from the 1989 Megadrive game Zero Wing became popular on internet message boards around 10 years ago – and you can still while away your time today browsing such mishaps. But no serious developer today would accept their vision being distorted through rushed, improvised translations.

For our part at Jonckers, we’ve long been part of the gaming industry. We have been able to help companies and developers such as Xbox and Spil Games (developers of the hugely popular Troll Face Quest games on mobile) succeed in a variety of markets. We really value the service we provide to our gaming clients – not just in terms of the pleasure of translating a game for a new audience, and therefore allowing more people to take part in what is now a hugely popular pastime, but in terms of the service of quality we provide to those clients as well.

If you’re looking to expand the potential market for your game to include Mexico as much as Marseille or Manchester, and need a professional localization team who can handle an exceptional level of attention to detail, quality commitment, and nuance when it comes to the differing requirements of subtitles versus voice-overs and dubbing, get in touch. For more on our gaming services, click here.

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