By Hagen Weiss
Localizing your game is a crucial step to ensuring you have a viable chance of breaking into a different market. However, quality localization does require investment.
Perhaps you’ve thought of utilizing no-cost options, such as Google Translate or crowdsourcing (i.e. fan translation). While free, you may end up with serious quality issues.
Below, we’ll explore some ways you can localize your game on a tight budget, without sacrificing quality.
1. Strategically Choose Your Language
The first step you need to take is to do some market research. You want to identify high-potential markets that your game would thrive in. Additionally, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of introducing your game into a specific country. For instance, China has the largest gaming market share in the world. However, it is also highly regulated, making it more difficult to penetrate.
The language pair you decide on is also relevant to cost. Localizing Western languages to Eastern languages (and vice-versa) will be more costly, due to the major cultural, political, and religious differences.
2. Start to Localize your Game Early
Don’t leave localization to the last stages of your design. Localization and game design are closely intertwined together. The localization of a game can significantly impact user experience and gameplay. The earlier you design with localization in mind, the less re-work or issues you’ll have down the road, saving you in both time and money.
3. Watch Your Word Count
Avoid long, verbose text that does not contribute to the game. Review all your dialogue and sentence structures to cut out wordy sentences. The fewer words there are, the less translation that is required.
Also, plan to do your localization all at once, rather than breaking it into smaller projects. You’ll get a better rate when you consolidate your translation or localization needs into one project.
4. Replace Descriptions with Visuals
Find opportunities to replace long wordy descriptions with visuals. Visuals, such as pictograms, icons, or other graphics, can often be understood in a variety of contexts. These visuals will help reduce translation efforts, which then leads to lower localization costs.
5. Go for Quality
Trying to cut corners at the beginning may end up costing you in the long term. For example, it may be tempting to use free online translation software, like Google Translate or DeepL, but these tools don’t take into account culture or context. General or amateur translation services may be a step up from online tools, but may not be suited for specialized game localization.
You may need to spend a little more money upfront with a qualified translation gaming company. However, you won’t need to pay twice for quality issues later down the road.
iGlobe: Translation & Localize your Game and Apps
Consider these few factors if you’re looking to localize your game on a tight budget. iGlobe is a translation and localization company specializing in the gaming industry. We offer high-quality localization services for gaming companies in a variety of different languages.
Contact us today to get started on your next project!
Tel：+1 604 355 3023