Game localization is essentially software localization, while game (supposedly) is an art form,
With the continuous development of Internet technology, the game industry is now in a golden period, from the first video game was introduced to China in the early 80s to the domestic game out of the country, our game industry has gone through storms to have the current golden period. Now more and more game manufacturers are aiming at overseas market and want to occupy a territory in foreign game market.
Game localization is the first step to occupy the foreign game market.
Game localization, which began with the two games Space War and Pong in the 1970s, refers to the process of adjusting and modifying the game to suit the player groups of the target countries. In a narrow sense, it mainly refers to the translation of in-game text, pictures and other resources; in a broader sense, it refers to complete localization and simultaneous (or basically simultaneous) release of multiple language versions, with adjustments in content and functions to adapt to the game market environment and laws and regulations of the target country.
In general, game localization elements include game interface, error messages, voice-over, videos, subtitles for videos, brief mission descriptions, information files about in-game items (e.g. weapons), maps, logos, clips, dialogue for non-player characters, help files, tutorials, etc.
The core of the game's content is the scenario and story, and just like the large number of map files and story descriptions loaded in most game software, the biggest difficulty in game localization is making these game stories resonate with players from different cultures.
In one case, a Chinese version of the game, an agency publishing project with 30,000 Chinese strings, needed 2 weeks to complete translation and proofreading. After completing the text translation, LQA was started. this was when the problem of string update mechanism was encountered, as the translation was done in batches and there was no 100% complete language pack. And the R&D counterpart performed file substitution without being sure whether the file given by the release counterpart contained all the strings, resulting in the loss of translation of some of the added strings.
From this, we can see that the R&D was very lack of localization awareness during LQA. So, after effective communication, meticulous testing and active cooperation were in place later, the problem was solved perfectly and two months later, it was successfully launched overseas.
Game localization is essentially software localization, while game (supposedly) is an art form, so the translation in game localization needs both strict specification in technical writing and creativity and wisdom in copywriting. The overseas game market is not simply overseas distribution, and game localization is not simply text translation. It requires professional team, reliable cooperation, effective communication, and clear localization awareness and goals to provide the best game experience to local market users.