The video games market witnesses a high booming, and it exceeded 160 billion dollars in 2020 according to Statista. This is a huge growth opportunity for video games companies.
Translating the game into different languages can double the revenue as the game will be more attractive for international customers.
The Translation of Video Game Languages Is Not Straightforward
The process of video games translation requires the translator to look at a wide array of aspects involved in the process; these aspects include understanding the game, the characters, levels, design, and the lure behind that game. In short, it is not just a simple and direct process; it needs well-versed market research.
As you can see this is a wholistic approach to translation, which is well-known as “localization”, which is a form of translation where the meaning is adopted so that it sounds as if it is meant for a certain region, culture, or even a certain country.
Best Languages to Translate Your Video Game
Before deciding the best languages to translate your video games into, you need to understand the key market players in top manufacturing companies and the top consuming markets. Statistics show that CJK and EFIGS are covering the most influential markets.
- CJK: Chinese, Japanese, Korean.
- EFIGS: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish.
Having that in mind, we will put the best languages in your handsto translate your video game, depending on the revenues.
English comes on top of most spoken languages in the world, with 1.132 billion total speakers. Most video games are developed in English, and If not, you must consider it as the first language to translate your video game into. If the game contains audio content, it is recommended to take into account to create two versions; one for the US and one for the UK market.
China holds around 41 per cent of the entire revenues coming from video games. The Chinese population exceeds 1,439 million people, with 637 million gamers. The revenues surged 44,000 million dollars in 2020.
Japan was the birth country of the video gaming industry. Sony, SEGA, and Nintendo are the top producers of video games. Japanese comes in the third rank after English and Chinese, among the top video games markets. Japan has more than 190 million video gamers and generates revenues of about $41.300 billion in 2020.
The Republic of Korea comes in the fourth rank among the best languages to translate your video game into. Korea has more than 32 million video gamers and generates revenues of about 7.100 billion in 2020.
The two European countries come in the #5 rank. Germany has more than 45 million video gamers and generates revenues of more than $6.600 billion in 2020. On the other hand, France has more than 35 million video gamers and generates revenues of about $4,400 billion in 2020.
* Source: Newzoo
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Process Simplified: Best Practices to Translate Video Games
The translation of video games requires joining forces between collaborators to achieve a successful video translation project.
Here the five steps successful video translation teams came through.
It involves analysing the entire content of the video game to find detailed information and understanding the graphic objects, dialogue, participants, references, and the cognitive linguistics used in the dialogue.
At this process, we need to define the involved parties, organise the content, sound files, and game codes in a structured way, and finally import the project into the translation tool and assign translators to their respective tasks.
Translation of video games languages evolves the entire process of identifying the used terminologies, conduct translation and editing, and doing the final examination to correct any inconsistencies spotted.
After doing the final revision and ensuring the output quality, we need to convert the files to their original format. For instance, the text files will be converted into codes, and the speech-language will be converted into WAV, WMA, or mp4.
In a nutshell, the translation of video games helps you reach a wide range of audiences in different markets. Nevertheless, translation into large number of languages may not be that effective without having a comprehensive understanding of the distributed video games market. To undertake your translation strategy and select the best languages to translate your video game into, you need to consider any of the languages mentioned above to ensure better success chances. These markets have significant growth potential because of their appetite for playing video games and their willingness to spend on entertainment activities.