8 Ways LQA Can Improve Your Game

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Developing a game is a thrilling journey in which every detail is meticulously crafted to create a masterpiece that offers players an unforgettable experience. And in this era of global gaming —where borders are blurred, and players have different cultures, languages, and preferences— ensuring your game has universal appeal is not just desirable but necessary. 

Localization Quality Assurance (LQA) is the unsung hero making games resonate with diverse audiences. It holds the power to take the localization of your game from good to extraordinary, so you can captivate players worldwide. Keep reading to learn about the eight ways LQA helps games reach the next level. 

Key Benefits of LQA in Video Games 

  1. Player Experience: In modern gaming, players often want to feel immersed in the gaming world. They want crisp graphics, gritty voice-acting, fun gameplay, an awesome soundtrack, and a gripping story. When these are all done well, the final product makes for a potentially award-winning title. However, the localization must also hit the nail on the head. Why? Anything less than quality localization will abruptly crash a player’s immersive experience when they start to notice translations that look a little “wooden” or typos, etc. On the flip side, quality localization will reinforce that sense of immersion, keeping gamers “in the zone.”

  1. Bug Detection: LQA provides a safety net to counter potential issues, such as truncated text, commands that trigger incorrect text, corrupted audio, and NPCs not behaving as they should. These issues are flagged up before the game is released. This means you save time, effort, and resources as you don’t need to mitigate errors retrospectively – which can often lead to a “snowballing” effect where one correction creates another. 
  1. Cultural Sensitivity: Video gaming has come a long way since the 80s and 90s. Nowadays, we play games across the entire planet. Yet cultures are rich and diverse, which makes our planet so interesting, but this also means we need to produce a game that is appropriate to the culture it’s released in. During LQA, game content is evaluated to assess its suitability to its target culture. This due diligence helps eliminate the prospect of causing upset; content flagged for sensitivity issues is often changed or even removed.  
  1. Compliance with Regulations: This one is of a similar mindset to “Cultural Sensitivity.” Those initial steps taken during LQA to tailor a game’s content to cultural sensitivities are also applied to aspects like compliance with age restrictions and legal requirements. As an example, the ability to gamble with real money was removed from GTA Online before its release in certain countries. Evaluations during LQA ensure your game will not face legal troubles due to non-compliance. 
  1. User Engagement: Testing the translated text during the LQA step completely removes any remaining language barriers, which means gamers can enjoy their favorite game in their preferred language. This way, they can engage with the different mechanics of the game, such as the voice acting or the script’s quirky jokes, and thus build their unique relationship with the game.

  1. Player Retention: Games that receive a high-quality localization usually end up pleasing, entertaining, and even charming their audience. Who doesn’t like a good joke that plays on phenomena rooted in their own specific culture or that features regional accents they recognize well? A positive fan reaction will result in a loyal fan base – a following that will be there to support your franchise once a follow-up game is released.  

  1. Brand & Game Reputation: Over the years, we’ve seen how a game’s success, or lack thereof, may affect its reputation and the game developer’s. This can subsequently have a knock-on effect when a follow-up game is released. On the flip side, releasing a game that hits the target on its first attempt can do wonders for “hype” towards the studio and the subsequent games they release, creating an uptick in revenue, too. Good LQA gets recognized, meaning your game takes one extra step towards the land of positive reviews, big sales and even accolades.  

  1. Competitive Advantage: Once the positive reviews point out your game’s wonderful LQA, among other things – by game reviewers and gamers alike – and the accolades arrive at your door, suddenly your future titles will receive a lot more “hype.” This extra wind behind your proverbial sails gives you that edge over the competition in an industry where fine margins make all the difference.  

We have lift off! 

Ultimately, LQA is an all-encompassing evaluation of how your localized game stacks up “in the field.” It goes beyond just checking translated text. It analyses a game’s performance in relation to extra-linguistic components like compliance with regulations and sensitivity towards different cultures, as well as an evaluation as to the ergonomics of the game to make sure it’s functioning correctly on a technical level. It seeks not to chase after errors and plug gaps retrospectively, but rather, to prevent them before the game is released, ensuring attention is drawn solely towards the positive aspects of your game. 

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