Best Practices

5 Questions to Ask a Video Game Localization Agency

User engagement is life or death for a video game, and a huge factor of increased user engagement is making sure the players understand the game. Language is one of the largest components of video game comprehension.
Gabriel Fairman
2 min

User engagement is life or death for a video game, and a huge factor of increased user engagement is making sure the players understand the game. Language is one of the largest components of video game comprehension. Character backgrounds and personalities, game instructions, game add-ons, etc., are all explained through spoken language or on-screen text.

This is why video game localization can be a critical component of video game success in international markets. Whether it ranges from a sports video game with little text to a MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) with an extensive storyline and excessive text, localizing the video game to be understood in a specific culture and language can vastly improve the user experience for the player.

While video game localization can seem like a daunting process, it doesn’t have to be if you partner with a video game localization agency that can foresee known challenges of the industry and streamline the process. Knowing what questions to ask a video game localization agency before agreeing to work with them will help ensure you get the most efficient localization strategy.

Which Questions Should You Ask a Video Game Localization Agency?

1. Do you have a vast knowledge of target markets?

A crucial part of video game localization is implementing a marketing strategy to target the users of your chosen market. You have to partner with a localization agency that understands the necessity of translating video game descriptions on various platforms in a way that will resonate with local gamers and persuade them to try the game.

Analyzing markets for local gaming preferences and tendencies is another valuable asset because it allows an agency to help you prioritize market entry and successfully expand your video game to various international markets.  

2. Do you have a range of specialized linguists?

Video game translation requires linguists that are subject matter experts. It requires a high level of contextualization to translate the content to best suit a specific culture. That would be nearly impossible to do if you haven’t played the video game and been immersed in it enough to completely understand the user experience you’re trying to preserve.

Having multiple specialized linguists allows you to divide content amongst them and allocate certain linguists to specific characters or levels that are better suited to them to consolidate the process.

3. Can you support a continuous localization strategy?

All video games require updates, and the more text a video game has, the more extensive the updating process can be when it comes to localizing the new content. Working with a video game localization agency that understands this challenge and addresses it upfront by offering continuous localization is the easiest way to avoid setbacks. They can help you create an extensive glossary and update translation memory to lessen the strain of frequent updates. Otherwise, you risk having to restart the process each time you need to update, incurring costly expenses to localize your content each time.  

4. Do you offer automated video game localization?

Because of the need for regular game updates and continuous localization, automating the video game localization process is the most efficient route. Instead of having a project manager monitor updates and task linguists to translate content, automated localization will trigger a translation project as soon as the new update is in place and automatically assign a translator to the content. This reduces the time and staff effort needed for each update and makes multi-language localization more feasible.  

5. What is your quality assurance review process?

With frequent updating and automation services, it’s important to make sure the quality of the translated content is up to par so that there is no lag or issue for local gamers. Both the linguists and engineers should have a review process to ensure the game-play is smooth and all text is grammatically correct and culturally appropriate. It’s also important to have the game reviewed by someone local before releasing the product to eliminate the need for early fixes. Neglecting quality assurance is detrimental to a positive user experience and can stall the success of your game in new markets.  

Find the Right Partner to Manage Your Localization Strategy

The key to a successful video game localization process with a high ROI, is working with a localization management platform that can manage the implementation strategy and negate challenges continuously. Asking video game localization agencies these five questions upfront will ensure you partner with a platform that can bring you the results you need. Allowing a localization platform to focus on staffing translators and engineers, overseeing communication and automation, and ensuring the content is translated to the highest quality allows game managers to focus on the more crucial aspects while still breaking into new markets successfully.

Bureau Workscan help you meet your goal of successful video game localization with automated localization services, expert translators, and thorough quality assurance measures. Contact our team to find out how our robust video game localization services can help you.

Gabriel Fairman
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