Game Localisation and Translation

Pixels of opportunity

Games have come a long way since the days of Pong and Space Invaders. Those tiny pixel clusters we used to know and love have grown into sprawling, cinematic worlds with their own mythologies and characters, unfolding not just from our TV screens but from our phones and tablets as well. 

What’s more, the power to develop and design games has been unshackled.

No longer is game creation the exclusive domain of big companies in Japan and the USA. Nowadays popular games are springing up from the offices, garages and even bedrooms of developers everywhere, with veritable phenomena like Candy Crush and Among Us taking the world by storm.

With 2.7 billion gamers worldwide and a projected valuation of $169.7 billion by the end of 2025, this makes video game development a lucrative prospect for budding developers everywhere, and the industry is only continuing to grow.

The importance of game localisation

However, creating a global gaming sensation takes more than just an inventive mind and a good idea. In order to connect with gamers in different countries and territories, your game will need to cross a number of linguistic and cultural barriers. The process of doing this is what is known as game localisation.

Beyond simply translating from one language into another, game localisation involves:

  1. Adapting the quirky or clever wordplay that makes your game unique into something that works just as well in the new language. Often this is a highly creative process which requires ample knowledge of both the fictional world your game inhabits and the cultural context it is moving into.
  2. Checking for content which might be offensive or vulnerable to misinterpretation/misconstruction in another language. The classic example here is PacMan which you can read about on our blog.
  3. Adapting content which might be in breach of legislation in another country. For example: political statements, product placement or references to restricted activities such as gambling, alcohol, etc.

A successful game localisation project will help your game slot into its new context with all the same inventiveness and charm as the original, allowing your overseas players to enjoy a seamless gaming experience.

Overlooking the process, however, can have serious consequences. 

At the very worst, this might mean your game ending up in the eye of a social media storm for causing offense, grating against local customs or appearing downright silly.

At best, it will mean a fun and flawless game that nonetheless fails to connect or find an audience – which is a huge shame not just for you and your bottom line, but for all those players out there who never get to experience the magic you have created.

Get ready to level up

We offer game localisation services within English and the Nordic languages, as well as German, Dutch, French and Spanish. With experience in a range of genres, from RPGs and adventure games through to racing and soccer games, our localisation experts can help with all sorts of video game content.

This includes the translation and localisation of user interfaces (UI localisation), dialogue, menus, intercom messages, game rewards and tutorial scenes. 

No matter whether your game is for one of the classic consoles such as Playstation, Xbox or the Nintendo Switch, or if it will be launched on a mobile portal such as Google Play or the App Store, we are on hand to help you check over your content, identify key areas for localisation, and to transform your text into something that works a charm in your target market or markets.

Get in touch for a commitment-free chat and quote and get ready to level up your gaming adventure together with us!