The Impact of Globalization on Video Game Localization 


A robust globalization strategy holds pivotal significance in the realm of gaming, especially concerning video game localization. Let’s unravel the profound impact of globalization within the gaming industry and why having your own globalization strategy in place is crucial.  

What Is Globalization? 

The term globalization can cause some confusion because it is often used two different ways: 

  1. How trade and technology have made the world into a more connected and interdependent place. 
  1. The process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale.  

However, in the video game localization landscape, the term globalization usually refers to taking a local or regional phenomena and transforming it into a global one. It’s helpful to take note of other important processes, such as internationalization, localization and quality assurance, that fall under the umbrella of this overarching term. 

The Role of Internationalization and Localization in the Gaming Industry 

In the field of localization, globalization centers around the business activities that relate to launching and marketing video games in the chosen regional markets. The localization efforts are then focused on the game development cycle. 
The journey of globalization in game development begins with a comprehensive assessment of internationalization considerations. This involves evaluating the game’s design, code, and content to ensure it is adaptable for various regions. Setting style guides and other indications for the project follows, establishing a roadmap for the localization process. Localization requires modifying content, design, and functionality to resonate with local preferences, languages, idiomatic expressions, and cultural nuances. It extends beyond mere translation, aiming for a seamless user experience that feels native to the target audience.   

Before diving into translations, the linguistic team evaluates the need of transcreation to better resonate with specific cultures while making sure that the game respects diverse norms and values. Ratings and regional regulations are meticulously examined to comply with legal standards and later tested in the Localization Quality Assurance (LQA) stage to guarantee accuracy. QA involves rigorous testing, validation, and verification processes to guarantee functionality, linguistic accuracy, cultural appropriateness, and usability in each targeted region.  

Localization doesn’t stop with the game itself—marketing materials and player support content undergo the same process, providing a seamless experience for gamers worldwide. Even after the game’s launch, ongoing patches and content updates may require further localization efforts. This comprehensive approach from the early stages through post-launch updates helps the game truly speak to and engage players on a global scale.  

What to Consider When Creating a Globalization Strategy for Video Games? 

Developing a successful globalization strategy for video games involves several key considerations. You need to pinpoint your target markets and grasp their cultural preferences and gaming habits and you should also keep an eye on emerging trends so you can assess the competitive landscape within these markets. 

Once armed with market insights, you can craft an effective localization strategy. Define the extent of localization needed, encompassing elements such as subtitles, dubbing, cultural adaptation, and transcreation requirements. Furthermore, you will have to determine the optimal stage for the localization team to integrate into the development process. 

When accompanied by the corresponding localization efforts, the right strategy can power up the gaming experience of players worldwide, expanding the possibilities of reach and growth of a game. 

Globalization involves the integration of various cultures, economies, and individuals from diverse regions, fostering stronger connections between developers, publishers, stakeholders, and players worldwide. It enables developers and publishers to establish deeper connections with a global audience. Players also reap the benefits of globalization, gaining access to new content and expanding the audience for game developers. 

The Takeaway 

Globalization can take a local or regional phenomena and turn it into a global one. Building a globalization strategy from the start will make a difference in efficiency, pipelines, time, and costs investments before launch. Because the localization efforts are focused around the game development cycle, it’s crucial to allow your localization team to start working alongside the cycle instead of bringing them at the end as an afterthought.  

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