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Why it is so Important to Localize Your Mobile Game?

Game localization is becoming more and more important with the increase in the number of apps in the smartphone. It is true that localization is quite a daunting job and it is not necessary that it will pay off at the end of the day. But still, localization is important in order to survive in the fast growing app market.

The app goes through different localization levels. Let’s have a look at the different levels of localization:

Localization Levels

  1. No Localization

A game can be started in the original language in all the regions.

  1. Box and Docs Localization

In this type of documentation, all the documents and manuals are translated to the local language first, and the game is translated later.

  1. Partial Localization

In this type of localization, the text of the game is translated to the local language. The voice files are not translated during this type of localization thus helps to cut the costs of hiring the people for re-recording of all voices in the game. Subtitles can be used to compensate this.

  1. Complete Localization

In this type, everything included in the game is translated to the native language. This is a very expensive type of localization and it is mostly preferred by the big mobile game companies only.

Why localization of games is important?

  • 50% of the countries that are among the top 10 downloads on the app store are non-English speaking countries. And the biggest market for your mobile game app may not speak English.

  • 40% of the total app revenue comes from Asian countries and the rest of the revenue is divided among the European and North American countries.

  • Localization of the apps makes them as “Featured Apps” on iOS store.

  • The competitors are doing app localization, so it is important for you as well.

  • The future lies in localization only.

Have you chosen the right language for localization?

Here are the top languages for localization of the mobile game app other than English.

  • Japanese

  • Spanish

  • German

  • Italian

  • Russian

  • French

If you are feeling exhausted about localizing the mobile game app, don’t worry. Here are some of the important steps that the developer can follow for an amazing localization of the app.

  • Prior Preparation of Requirements

The developer always creates a great app, but it is always important for the developer to make sure the app is easy to understand for the first time user.

There are some of the things that need to be kept in mind by the developer while developing the app.

    • Short and powerful text of the app is best

    • Formatting of the app should be good enough to fit on the mobile screen

    • Prior good preparation for every bad scenario

  • Deciding Which Languages Need to be Localized

It is very important for the developer of the game to make the app reach every user in the world. It is also very important for the developer to decide on the language that needs to be localized first. There are many languages as mentioned above that can be localized in the app.

There are some challenges along with deciding the language for localization of the app.

  • Will you reach the desired number of users by localizing to the selected language?

  • What is the profitability of the language you have chosen?

  • Are your competitors using the same language for localization?

There are many analytical tools available that are helpful to overcome the above challenges that any developer may have to face during localization of the mobile game app.

  • Hiring the Team of Professionals

The game can be translated by using a number of methods. The organization can hire a translation agency or can hire a professional translator as well.

It is not necessary to use the same translators for the job of language translation, who are being used for other translation projects, apart from the game. There are professionals who have good experience in the game projects also.

The translators are mostly the native speakers of the region and hiring them is best for your gaming project. It is necessary to give some time to the translators to get familiar with the flow of the game before starting with the translation of the game.

  • Assigning a Project Manager

After deciding on the translation team, the next step is to assign a project manager of the translating team. This is one of the most important steps. The project manager acts as a communicator between the client and the translators.

  • Subtitles or Audio

There are two translation options that you can select for the audio files of the game. Some of the clients prefer to use the audio and select the best music or audio for the game. But some of the clients do not want to spend much money on the audio, so they choose subtitles instead, during localization. This process is also quicker than recording an audio in native language.

  • Time to Harvest

Translating cannot be done in a blink of an eye, it takes time. It is important for the developer of the game app to be available for the translator’s queries. Initially, it is difficult for the translator to understand the game, and finds the game difficult to translate.

A reasonable time should be provided to the translator on a daily basis. It is important to find out that how many words, the translator can find. It will make both the developer and the translator clear about the time taken in the process of translation of the complete game.

  • Separation of Text From the Source Code

The text that is displayed on the game is to be translated separately. It is an important task that needs to be done carefully. It is good to avoid hard coding the text in the source code.

After doing the above mentioned steps, it is important to create a glossary list, which is very important for the localization of the game app. Context is also important for the translator. So it is better to provide a full context of the game to the translator to avoid any misunderstanding of the word.

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