The Right Strategy to Select a Video Game Localization Company
Selecting a reliable video game localization company is an important decision to take. You will invest time and resources in the training of the company team members. You may even need to integrate their processes with yours.
But it can be easier by asking the right questions during the selection process.
In this article, I will help you ask the right questions to find out the information you need.
But first, you need to lay out an important definition.
The definition of Localization in Video Games
Localization in video games means you adapt the content, design, and multimedia elements of a game for another market that speaks a different language or language.
During localization, you may change things like images, video, and audio content to appeal to the players who live in a different geography.
Translation is a more straightforward process, which is about rendering a text from one language to another.
But localization is different and has a deeper look. It tries to have better communication with the player at a cultural level to make sure they have a better experience while playing the video game.
What a Video game Localization Services Company Offer
Game localization process requires many services. The selected localization company should provide you with turnkey solutions for almost all the services, so you don’t have to work with many different suppliers at the same time to localize your game.
Here are the video game localization services the company should provide:
This is about the localization of the in-game text elements, such as the game description, messages, button texts, menu items, and other texts the players see while they are playing. These text elements should be localized and adapted for the target market accurately and consistently.
Also, the company should be able to provide editors and proofreaders for this part. Errors can happen when the text is localized for the first time. You will need to have a second eye to check the localization of the text elements, who are referred to as editors and proofreaders.
The language localization service should be provided by native speakers of the target languages only. This will ensure the texts are localized with the target market culture in mind.
Voice-over and Dubbing
You will need such services for the in-game animations, video, and audio elements. Also, your promotional campaigns may have some elements that require voice-over and dubbing.
Ask the video game localization company about the possibility you hire them for such services.
Maybe they don’t have the resources available in their country, but they should have relationships and agreements with suppliers that enable them to provide such services.
An image of a game for the US market may not be appropriate for the Middle East market. The same applies to icons, they may have positive or negative meanings in different markets.
The company should be familiar with the cultural challenges involved in graphics localization and be able to provide solutions for you.
Also, the graphic localization part requires the use of certain software and tools. Make sure the company has the required technical stack and licenses to localize the graphics for your target markets.
Testing and QA
After all the language and graphic localization are complete. You will need to run a testing and quality assurance (QA) phase for the game in all the different languages you are localizing into.
Before release, the game localization team should test the game in the live environment to check everything is working correctly and that the game has no linguistic, technical, or cultural issues.
The company should be familiar with how testing is run and how to report the bugs found.
The 4 Questions You Need to Ask:
There are a few questions you need answers to before committing to a business relationship with the new video game localization company. These are signs they are a partner you should consider working with.
Q1: What are the Qualifications of Their Team Members?
The company will have a team that provides the above localization services. Ask them how they choose their team members.
What level of education do they have? What testing and pre-qualification process does the company have in place? Are they using native speakers for the language localization service? What type of training do they provide for their team members?
The answers to these questions will give you an idea of how serious the company is about the level of service they provide for its customers.
Q2: Who Did They Work with Before or Currently Working With?
Ask the company about their previous or current similar customers they work/have worked with. This is proof they have real experience in providing video game localization services.
Sometimes it is hard to get the names of the previous or current customers of a localization company due to the signed non-disclosure agreements. In this case, you can ask a few questions. Like the ones below.
Ask about the type of games they have localized before and what services they provide for their clients. Did they work with action games? Or strategy games? Did they localize marketing material for games? What about app store optimization?
Q3: Their Video Game Localization Software
Knowing the localization software is crucial as it can complicate or simplify your localization process.
Working with software that is not compatible with your company processes means you will need to do some extra efforts to do localization engineering.
Ask the company about the platform or software they use to localize the texts, and graphics and do the voice-over and dubbing services.
Another important question is what file formats they can work with. Can they work with XML, HTML, or JASON files? Ask about the file formats you use and can generate.
Q4: Their Quality Assurance Procedures
This is about the company’s internal quality assurance procedures.
Ask about things like how a translator or a localizer is assigned to work on a particular localization project. Who reviews the localized text inside the company and what are their qualifications?
Does the company review the work of the first translator or localizer to be sure nothing is missing and the instructions were followed? How do they ensure the errors don’t happen again?
The decision of working with a video game localization company is an important one. You will spend a lot of time training and working with the company for years to come.
The more questions you ask, the more you know if they are a good match or not. Ask about their processes, services, and the qualifications of their team members.
If you are looking for a long-term partnership in game localization, the TranslationPartner team is ready to help. Contact us and ask as many questions as you like!