Home » » The Trials and Tribulations of Localization

The Trials and Tribulations of Localization

A little more than a decade ago, the time between the release of a game developed in Japan and its North American launch would be well over a year. In some cases, especially for European gamers, classics like Chrono Cross never saw the light of day. Today, the difference in time for the launch of a game in Japan, North America, and Europe is rarely more than a few days. Developers and publishers not only understand the advantages of releasing games in all regions as quickly as possible, but they have also started digging into untapped markets that are eager to spend money.

Which Languages Matter?

Early on, there were essentially two languages used to develop games: Japanese and English. As the size of games grew and their popularity expanded, so did the language options. Today, it's extremely rare for a game not to include EFIGS (English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish) as language options. Developers and publishers are looking at ways of getting their games to more markets, but there is no clear-cut process in place that determines if a game like Prince of Persia gets a Hungarian language track instead of a Greek one. 

Today, it's extremely rare for a game not to include EFIGS (English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish) as language options.
Developers and publishers are gauging worldwide interest by listening to the voices of potential customers through social media. If a large community of Brazilian gamers really wants the next BioWare game to feature a Brazilian-Portuguese language track, then the audience needs to be vocal about it.
Sony is probably at the forefront of language-support options. Most of its first-party games are produced to support 15 different languages, and that number is expected to grow. When you add in subtitle support, the number doubles. This is part of the reason why the PlayStation 3 is so popular in Europe; there's a good chance someone can pick up a game and it will have his or her native language on it. 

To its credit, Microsoft has improved greatly in recent years. The company's Kinect: Disneyland Adventures includes full speech in six languages and even takes "cultural gestures" into account, ensuring certain hand movements don't offend specific groups of people.

Turkey, Iran, and the Arab World

The single biggest market that appears to be the next logical place for developers to move toward is in the Arab countries, including Iran and Turkey. It's hard to believe that a region where a half-billion people live hasn't been given the attention it deserves.
During a localization panel at the 2012 Game Developers Conference, Mahmound Khasawneh, CEO of Quirkat, explained just how much potential exists in that part of the world and that only a small number of studios have bothered to harness it. Studios like Sony, Epic Games, and Ubisoft have started to learn of the possibilities in this area, but others are still behind the times.
Share this article :

Comments Powered By: Disqus
Support : Creating Website | Johny Template | Mas Template
Copyright © 2011. PctechPortal - All Rights Reserved
Template Created by Creating Website Published by Mas Template
Proudly powered by Blogger