There’s no doubt that video games are a global phenomenon. But with so many different languages spoken around the world, how do developers ensure their games are playable for everyone? Is there a universal translator for games? Turns out, the answer is complicated. Let’s take a closer look.
When it comes to video games, there are generally two types of localization: linguistic localization and cultural localization. Linguistic localization is the process of adapting a game’s text and audio to fit the target audience’s language. This might involve translating the game’s dialog from one language to another or recording new voiceovers in the target language. Cultural localization, on the other hand, is the process of adapting a game to fit the target audience’s culture. This might involve changing references that wouldn’t make sense to someone from a different culture, or redesigning characters or gameplay mechanics to be more appropriate for the target culture.
Both linguistic and cultural localization is important for making sure a game is accessible and enjoyable for players around the world. However, they can also be very difficult and time-consuming to do well. That’s why many developers choose to focus on one or two specific regions when localizing their games.
So, is there a universal translator for games? Not yet. But with the help of linguistic and cultural localization, we’re getting closer every day.
The gaming industry is booming, but it’s not just the number of people playing games that have grown. The types of games being created and played have exploded in variety. With this growth comes new opportunities for game localization- making sure that the cultural nuances and references in a game make sense to players in other parts of the world.
But what does game localization involve? And who are the people working behind the scenes to make sure your favorite games can be enjoyed by gamers all over the globe? We’ll take a look at some of those questions in our next blog post. Until then, keep on slaying dragons (or whatever it is you do in your favorite games).