With the rise of e-sports, game localization has become indispensable for game developers and companies. Otherwise, their apps might not become as popular as they want to. Nowadays, several organizations have videogame localization problems with their apps. As a result, the need for game translators has increased each day.
With a wide range of languages available, identifying which one you should add to your game app can be difficult. For that reason, many developers wonder what the best languages for game translation or localization are. If you’re looking to know what languages you should add to your game, continue reading.
What Parts of Your Game Apps Should You Localize?
Since game localization can be expensive, not many organizations translate their game apps entirely. In that case, determining what parts of the app you should localize is essential. For example, if you’re a software engineer looking to launch a game app for mobile devices, translating the description, updates, and app store content is a must.
On the other hand, no games can become viral if companies don’t spend on marketing material. Therefore, localizing advertising material or any other relevant content is indispensable no matter what your customer attraction strategies are.
To make things easy, we can classify the video game localization process as basic, partial, or full. A basic game translation would refer to localizing only app store content like, for example, keywords, description, and screenshots. A partial video game localization refers to translating in-game text like subtitles and instruction that may appear throughout the gameplay.
A full game localization, on the other hand, means translating even audio files. Hence, you would be creating a product that engages native-speakers. However, as mentioned before, this can be very expensive and time-consuming.
Localizing app store content is a no-brainer. In that case, if you want to increase your reach, a basic localization is an excellent way to start. After all, most game development companies don’t localize their products fully. If you seek to improve the game experience and get better reviews from customers, then you should consider a full video localization. It’ll affect their expectations positively, and meeting their demands will be much easier.
How Much Does It Cost To Translate a Game App?
Game translation cots can vary depending on target languages, the number of words in the game, and translation rates. Translation rates can vary between $0.13 and $0.15. Also, proofreading frequently costs about 50 percent of the translation rates. Although prices can also vary depending on the market, this gives you a better idea of how much you or a company can spend in localizing a game app.
Before selecting languages and markets for localization, there are a few things you should keep in mind
- First, what’s your monetization model and your game app genre. This will help you determine if you should invest in a basic, partial, or full localization. For example, if you want to create a free app nurtured by advertising, a basic translation can be enough. However, if you seek to create a paid game app, a full localization would be the right alternative. Otherwise, localization problems might come up, and making in-app purchases can be a challenge for customers.
- The second aspect you should consider is if the game will adopt a P2P model. This will help you recognize if the market can afford those in-app costs. The third factor is what platforms you plan to publish your game on. This will play an important role during the decision process because you’ll see the most popular game languages on those platforms.
- Another aspect you should consider is who your competitors are. If there are top-notch rivals, you can see if they did a full localization process or a basic one. This will help you recognize what’s your best option and how you can meet customers’ needs.
We all know that English is a language used by many countries worldwide. Nonetheless, you must know how proficient your target markets are. If you don’t have this information, you should look for it. If not, your game potential will decrease, and reaching the top of the competition could be a struggle.
If you don’t know how proficient your target markets are, you can check the EF English Proficiency Index. This will help you determine what countries will accept your game app with low or very low localization.
What Languages Are Worth Localizing?
According to Newzoo’s Games Report, $189.3 billion of revenue is expected to be generated by gamers around the globe in 2021. Because of Covid-19 and the “new normal”, people now spend more time at home. Consequently, more individuals are willing to spend money on in-home entertainment.
China, the US, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Spain, France, and the UK are among the top 10 countries producing max game revenue. They generate over 70% of the total revenue worldwide. In 2018, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, Netherlands, and Mexico generated about 8% of the total revenue. In that case, localizing your game app into all these countries can be a great option if you want to maximize your gain. However, it can be costly, and it’s not really necessary.
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Best Video Game Localization Languages
The best languages to translate or localize a video game are:
- Brazilian Portuguese
Most world-class game development organizations based in the US and Europe select FIGS+PT+RU as their primary alternative. In Asia, most game development companies and publishers prefer CJK. But, if you want to go big, you need the best of both worlds.
Localizing your game apps into French, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, and German is the best decision you can make. With German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese, you’ll be able to meet the expectations of customers from Latin America, Europe, and Oceania. Furthermore, with Russian and Simplified Chinese, making customers from Asia feel engaged will no longer a challenge.
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What Languages to Translate Your Game Into in 2021: Conclusion
In general, for game development companies, video game localization is indispensable. For that reason, the need for skilled candidates will continue to grow in the following years. Whether you seek to localize a game app on your own or contract a game localization company, you can’t stop considering the aspects mentioned above. It’ll help you save time and money.
On the other hand, if you’re jobless and looking to get a job in the gaming industry, don’t hesitate to enroll in a coding bootcamp. Becoming a software engineer will help you get the right knowledge to build any type of application. According to Bootcamp Rankings, there are 19,297 open job listings, and getting employed won’t be a barrier.
Learn more about game localization in our “What you Need to Know about Game Localization” guide!
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