Gaming, a pastime that began with humble origins, has become a global phenomenon. It was all about arcades, 8-bit consoles, and simplistic games that offered pure joy in the early days. Fast forward to today, and the gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise, with a wide array of genres and platforms capturing audiences’ attention worldwide. One crucial cog in this vast gaming machine is the process of game localization.

At CCC International, we’re ready to explore the world of game localization with you. What is it, and why should you invest in it? Let’s take a look!

Key Takeaways:

  • What is game localization? It’s the process of adapting a game to different cultures and languages, so players worldwide can enjoy it in their native tongues.
  • Mobile game localization has helped game developers reach a global audience, putting games on top of the charts in multiple countries.
  • It’s best to work with a reliable mobile game localization company with a professional mobile game translator, native language speakers, and extensive experience in the gaming industry.

Table of Content:

mobile game localization

What Is Game Localization?

Mobile game localization is a process that adapts a video game to a new locale or culture beyond simple translation. It involves adjusting various game elements, including text, audio, visuals, and cultural references, to make it more accessible and appealing to players in different regions.

Note: Localization and translation are two distinct processes. While translation deals with the written text, localization focuses on adapting everything to appeal to different countries and cultures. Translation is a part of the localization process, but it’s not the full picture.

What Are the Benefits of Localizing Mobile Games?

In 2022, the global gaming industry generated nearly USD 347 billion in revenue. A significant portion of this, approximately USD 248 billion, was attributed to the thriving mobile gaming sector. The global reach of iconic games, such as Pokémon Go, Clash of Clans, and Candy Crush, and the most expensive video games, like Grand Theft Auto V and Final Fantasy VII, is nothing short of impressive.

Behind the scenes, game localization has been instrumental in helping these mobile games achieve this level of success. Here are the many ways game localization can benefit you:

  • Expand Market Reach: Localizing your mobile game allows you to tap into new markets and reach a wider audience. Players are more likely to engage with a game they can understand and relate to, and localization achieves just that.
  • Enhanced Player Experience: Localization enhances the player’s experience by making the game more relatable and enjoyable. It implies understanding and respecting the player’s culture.
  • Improved Competitive Edge: In today’s global gaming landscape, localizing your mobile game can give you a competitive edge. It indicates that the developers care about their international players.
  • Increase Revenue: With an expanded market reach comes increased revenue. More players mean more downloads, in-app purchases, and ad views.

The Challenges of Game Localization

Game localization is an excellent investment, but it is not without its challenges. For game businesses aiming to share their product with a global audience, here are some of the biggest hurdles to overcome with localizing a game:

🎮Language Translation: Each language has unique idioms, phrases, and cultural nuances that need consideration to avoid misunderstanding or offense.

🎮Cultural Sensitivity: Even minute details, like symbols, colors, or gestures, can have different connotations in various cultures.

🎮Technical Compatibility: The game’s coding might need to accommodate languages that read from right to left or cope with languages that require more or less space in the user interface.

🎮Game Customer Support: When you make your game available to a larger audience, it’s integral also to provide customer support in the gamer’s native language to create a seamless experience

The Process of Localizing Mobile Games

Localizing a mobile game is an intricate procedure that requires a team of professionals. Let’s dive deeper into the steps involved in this process:

  1. Project Assessment: This initial phase involves understanding the scope of the project, the target audience, and the specific aspects that need to be localized.
  2. Translation: A mobile game translator translates the game’s content, including dialogues, menus, and instructions, into the target language.
  3. Cultural Adaptation: The game is then culturally adapted to align with the target region’s traditions, customs, and societal norms.

Pro Tip: During the cultural adaptation stage, involve native speakers from the target region who are also gamers. They will most likely catch cultural mismatches, offensive content, or non-translatable game elements.

  1. Technical Adaptation: Experts make any technical adjustments necessary to support the new language, such as altering the text direction for languages or adjusting the user interface.