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How to Select Languages for Game Localization

The game is the cheapest source of entertainment that you can enjoy no matter where you are. We come across many people sitting at airports and railway stations that are playing the games. It has become a hobby to overcome boredom. Like the products and services, people like to play games that are in their native language. 

One thing to keep in mind is that localization of the game is equally important for games as translation. This is because, in some regions, games displaying blood and fights are banned. Game localization keeps these regional and cultural intricacies in view.

There are 7139 languages spoken across the globe. Out of these languages, in which languages to go for game localization is a tough question.  One option can be that you can localize and translate the game in the language of the target market. For instance, if you want to target the market of Korea, then you must go for Korean translation services. However, translation and localization of the game in a single language is not enough.

How to Select the Language for Game Localization

Before going for game localization, you must analyze some questions.

  • In which countries is your game genre most popular?

  • What is the monetization model for the game? Whether you are going for     advertising, paid games, or in-app purchases?

  • What is your priority: maximum revenue or maximum downloads?

  • Did your budget allow localization of the game in multiple languages?

  • On which platform, you will release your game. What are the languages that these platforms are using?

  • What are the competitors doing, whether they are translating their game only or they are also going for game localization?

  • How many people are proficient in your target market? Are they using Latin alphabets, or their languages are not mutually intelligible?

  • After getting the proper answers to these questions, you are in a better position to decide languages for game localization.

Popular languages for Game Localization

At present, the most common languages used for game localization are Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, Italian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish and Russian. 

Other languages like Thai, Hindi, Vietnamese and Indonesian are also gaining popularity with time. These languages will take over the game growth in the Pacific and South Asia.

Top 10 Countries for Gaming Revenue

The top countries that are generating the revenue of the game are

  • China
  • United States
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Germany
  • UK
  • France
  • Canada    
  • Italy
  • Spain               

Therefore, game developers are localizing the games in the languages of these countries. Many game developers also follow FIGS which are languages of French, Italian, German, and Spanish countries.

Additionally, they add Chinese, Japanese, and also Korean.  It is better to select one country at a time. For tapping into the German gaming market, the developers should go for German translation services. The same is the case with other countries. For the proper translation of the game, you must hire a professional translation agency. The benefit of translation agencies is that they provide you with robust professional German translation services.

Many developers localize their games in Traditional Chinese because apart from China, it is also spoken in Hongkong and Taiwan and avid gamers of these countries have high purchasing power. Taiwan ranks at # 17 and Hong Kong ranks at 27th number in high revenue giving markets.

It is also a viable option to localize games in Japanese, Korean and German languages because these lucrative markets come at the third, fourth, and fifth numbers in respect to revenue. For tapping into these markets, you must take the assistance of professional translation services. For instance, for entering the Japanese gaming industry, you must take assistance from professional Japanese translation services

Focusing on Profitable Languages

The important thing to note is that if the country is more popular in the gaming industry, then there will be tough competition. The US market is the toughest market to tap in. Whereas Asian countries like Japan and China are emerging markets. For releasing games in Japan and China, you must go for Japanese translation services and Chinese translation services.

At the same time, you cannot release games of the same genre in these markers because of cultural and regional differences.  This shows that you not only need to rely on competitive markets only but you also need to consider emerging markets that can give you a high rate of return.

The other countries that are giving more profits and revenues in the gaming industry are Australia, Russia, India, Brazil, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Many gamers from these countries have high download numbers.

Game Downloads Results into More Revenue

The more people download your games, the more revenue you will reap.  People will download games if it is localized in their language. More downloads will also boost game ranking which will enhance the organic traffic. 

If you want to increase download numbers then you can localize games in other languages like Indonesian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Hindi and make these downloads charged with ads. The most suitable countries for selling gaming apps and in-app purchases are the US, China, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. If you want Korean people to download your games more, then you must go for professional Korean translation services. 

Wrapping Up

In this decade, the Thai language has also seen exponential growth, followed by Polish, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese. In this race, Hindi and Chinese are also included. Japanese and Korean languages are coming up with emerging gaming markets with a large number of avid gamers. To be safe in the gaming market, you must localize games in both European and Asian languages.