5 Game Localization Mistakes You should Avoid

With the expanding need to go global, companies across the world are vying to get the top spot in the global market. While many of them engage in extensive research before setting foot in the foreign markets, others hire expert translation and localization partners to do the job for them.

The game localization process, like other types of localization, is a complex one and you need professional game localization services for flawless results.

The game industry itself has grown by a large margin in the 21st century. Along with the technological changes and tremendous demand for more advanced game features, the gaming industry has shown an upward hike in the last few decades. This is the reason why game developers spend huge amounts of money to localize and adapt their games according to global demand.

However, sometimes this game localization process can go wrong. There are some mistakes you should absolutely avoid when localizing your games for the global market. Here are a few of these mistakes and some ways to avoid them:

Common Game Localization Mistakes

1 Embedding texts into core files

This is probably one of the top mistakes made in the game localization process. Avoid using embedded text directly in the code as it will slow down the translation process. Moreover, it will also make software maintenance difficult. If you embed text in the code, you might need to go back to the source file every time you need to change the content. This means that hard-coding text is likely to make it much more difficult for translators to translate your games.

To avoid this mistake, try storing your text in a separate resource file. This will allow you to update your text without going through the hassle of tampering with the source code.

2.     Not considering contextual information

When working with a translation partner, it is often easy to overlook the contextual information you should be delivering. Failing to give the proper contextual information leads to mistranslated, which is a disaster in games—especially for the game players. Having incorrect translation can make them lose the game and miss the target. For example, not having the correct translation could cause your game player to hit the target on the left when in actual they had to hit on the right!

To avoid this mistake, be sure to develop a style guide, a bio library as well as a glossary for terminology. Develop a style guide that describes the backgrounds of the scenes along with the distinctive characteristics. Having a detailed guide is a sure way to ensure the smooth localization of your game.

3.     Ignoring cultural nuances

Another common mistake that many game developers make is not considering the cultural nuances of the target market. If the title, content, or promotional material is not tailored to the target market’s culture, it is likely to alienate them. Worse, your game might offend them and it might get banned by the authorities.

Work with local translation experts to overcome this mistake. Consult with your localization partners about the cultural nuances of the target market while providing them enough context for constructive insights.

4.     Hiring the wrong translation partner

Having an experienced and professional translation partner can be your best asset in a new market. Conversely, hiring the wrong translation agency can make your game localization a difficult task. Using translators with the wrong skills could cost you valuable time, money, and resources.

Look for translators who are professionals in dealing with different game localization projects. Choose the translators who are native and avid game players, to avoid any mistakes that might arise in the game localization process. Consider whether your game requires creativity or research in localization and evaluate your translation partner accordingly.

5.     Failing to test the game on the right devices

User interface issues are some of the most common issues arising in global games. These UI issues arise due to a failure to test each localized version of your game in the devices used by your players. For example, a translated text that is too short or too long could cause problems in the visual layouts.

To make sure your games are compatible with devices used by your target audience, don’t skip testing. Test each localized version of your game on local devices. If your target game players use PC for gameplay, be sure to test the layout of your games on PC. In addition, this testing will allow you to spot any glitches in the final game layout.

The Last Word

Game localization might be a difficult process but it has its own sweet rewards. A properly localized game that caters to the preferences of the target game players could be the ultimate key to your success. Likewise, a game that is inaccurately localized could prove to be a disaster for the game developers.

To make sure your games make it big in the target market, hire a professional localization agency. Choose a translation partner which is  adept at delivering game localization services. Make sure it can also handle website localization services and software localization. Likewise, choose an agency that can translate in multiple languages. Be it delivering expert Chinese translation services or German, your game translation partner can make your globalization journey a smooth ride.