By Hagen Weiss
Are you thinking of translating your game into another language? Translating your game can help your company increase reach to international markets, gain exposure, and drive sales.
The next question you might have then is, what language should I translate my game into?
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Language
Before choosing a language, you need to consider the following factors:
- Market share: One of the most important questions you should be asking is, what countries have the largest gaming market share? There’s no point in translating your game only to find out there is no market for it. According to NewZoo, the top gaming markets by revenue include China, USA, Japan, South Korea, and Germany.
- Cost: Not all languages are the same when it comes to cost. Certain languages cost more to translate. Other varying factors will affect game translation rates, including market factors, the difficulty of the text, and individual translator experience.
- Type of game: How much localization you require will depend on the type of game. If it’s a simple arcade-style game, localization and translation could be relatively simple. More complex, story-based games will require much more effort, making it riskier for international market acceptance.
Now that you understand some factors involving language choice, here are the top languages you should consider translating your game into.
English is the near-universal language for gamers of all types. Not only will you have access to the US, but you also gain access to a number of Anglophone countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Many non-English-speaking gamers will feel comfortable playing a quality English game, even though it is outside their cultural sphere. However, the opposite is true of English gamers playing non-English games. There are simply fewer gamers speaking Chinese or Korean, for example, so it’d be difficult for English gamers to adapt to a non-English game.
2. Simplified Chinese (Mandarin)
The Chinese market has officially passed the US for the top market share in the gaming industry. They, by far, have the largest Internet population out of any country.
While the demand is certainly there, it is also not easy to enter the Chinese market. A mixture of cultural differences and government regulations can make it difficult to successfully adapt your game to Chinese gamers.
Japan is no stranger to the gaming industry, hosting household names, such as Nintendo, Sony, and SEGA. They own the third largest gaming market share behind only China and the US.
To say Koreans love their games may be an understatement. As of 2018, they have a market size of 14.3 trillion South Korean won. Their advanced technological advancements with some of the best Internet connections in the world makes it an ideal market for localizing your game.
Of the FIGS languages (i.e. French, Italian, German, Spanish), German is the closest to English. German gamers also tend to have high proficiencies in English. These factors make it ideal for localizing games from either German to English or English to German.
Other languages to consider based on market share include:
- Brazilian Portuguese
iGlobe: Localization & Translation Company
iGlobe is one of the top localization and translation companies serving the gaming/app industry. We offer translation, proofreading, and localization quality assurance for all of the top languages in the gaming world.
Contact us today to see how we can help you with your next project!
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