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Game Localization: The Complete Guide

Posted by goon2019 
Game Localization: The Complete Guide
September 23, 2022 11:13PM
Game Localization: The Complete Guide

I’ve been playing video games since childhood, so game localization is a topic that’s close to my heart. I remember the excitement of having first a Commodore VIC-20 and then a Commodore 64. Though the games were incredibly basic by the standards of today’s $100-million epics, they were everything video games should be. From Out Run to Bubble Bobble, games challenged and delighted in equal measure. Get more news about Game Localization Companies,you can vist our website!

Just as games have developed immeasurably in the years since then, so too has the video game localization process. That’s why I thought it was long overdue to take a close look at game localization.

In this article, we’ll look at what localizing games involves, how translation agencies such as Tomedes carry it out and why it’s so important to our modern gaming experience. Shall we jump right in?
What Is Game Localization?
Let’s start with the basics. Video game localization is the process of adapting a game so that players in different locations all feel as though the game was made for their particular region. It’s a simple-sounding concept that’s actually pretty complex, once you start looking at everything that’s involved.

Localizing video games encompass various language-related steps, such as the translation of the in-game dialogue and instructions, as well as technical processes, such as pulling the strings from your code and pushing them into a translation management system.

I’ll walk you through each of the stages of video game localization below, but first I wanted to share a quick example of what can happen when localization isn’t quite as much of a priority as it should be.

In the early 1990s, I became the proud owner of a Sega Mega Drive, losing hours on end (as only children have the time to do) to playing the original (and many would say, best) Sonic: The Hedgehog. It was a superb gaming machine back in the day and the quality and choice of games was impressive. At least, mostly.

One game – Zero Wing – stood out as being somewhat less than perfect. While the gaming mechanics functioned as they should, the dialogue localization was abysmal. Even the opening transcript was littered with mistakes. This was certainly not an example of high-quality Japanese to English translation! If you’ve not played the game yourself, you can click on the link below to check out the opening dialogue in all its glory!

Essentially, the poor translation provided as part of Zero Wing’s localization process detracted from the overall gaming experience. The playability of the game was fine, but the immersive experience was marred by the translation quality.

This is a key reason why localization is so important when it comes to video games. Localization can make the difference between a game being loved and a game being laughed at. I’ll explore this in more detail below.
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