Video games in the current Covid-Pandemic stage have become a medium of entertainment and fun for all groups of ages. Usually, there’s always a notion of differentiation when it comes to entertainment or personal choice. But in this case, video games have not been divided by the fabrics of genders, race, caste, or age. Rather is enjoyed by almost every individual who seeks some sort of release from the prevalent tensed conditions. Translation technology has enabled the growth of a lot of website localization services which then ultimately gives a boost to gaming translation services as well.
Progress Made in Video Game Localization
The progress made in the gaming industry has elevated its status to the level of the movie industry. The amount of time spent developing games is unprecedented. The production period has increased, meanwhile, secrecy is maintained once the game gets into the post-production phase. Thousands of game fanatics use their own personal social media platforms like Youtube and Instagram to give reviews of their favorite video games. Moreover, video games have given rise to Ecommerce translation services as well.
With time, the production scale for video games has increased. Now, video games are demanded on a global scale. Hence, the need for more accurate, efficient, and effective translation services, where video games can be localized for the global market, is on the rise.
Initially, the graphics of video games were 2 dimensional. However, advancement in computer technology has initiated a 3d graphical prowess. This has given a boost to adventure games with engaging storylines. Considering these aspects, the translation process of video games cannot be done in the same way as a translator would translate a film, website, or book.
How is Game Localization More Complex?
Considering the fact that the general process of translation usually has some common characteristics, video game translation is a different ball game. It’s more about the interactivity with the players than just simple word-to-word translations.
In books or movies, the aim is to get the message across. However, when it comes to translating video games, the emphasis is to transfer the same experiences and level of interactivity that was initially created by the video game publishers. So we can proclaim that video game translation is directed towards audiovisual translations.
Many people may object to this notion claiming that it is just a simple software localization. On the contrary, it could not be more different from simple software.
Translating the Title of Video Games
A lot of video game stores around the world would probably have video games in the languages of origin. For instance, in Pakistan, if you enter a video game store, you would be amazed to see that not even a single video game title is in the Urdu Language. Although you might see some description at the back of the games in the Urdu language, the title would always be in the English language. Because that is where the game was created.
Secondly, the title of the game is the essence or in some cases the brand image of the organization. Hence, localizing or translating it into another name would not be an effective marketing strategy.
The Audiovisual Translation
The most important factor in translating a video game is going through the process of audiovisual translation. You would be surprised to know that there was a time when video games were in text only, i.e, there was no audio embedded into that game. These games were never really popular, as they lacked interactivity and engagement.
With help of technology, game publishers were able to inculcate extremely high-quality audiovisuals to make the video games more appealing to the audience. However, audiovisual translations were very expensive. As one would have to probably change the storyline, character, and most important dialogues in the localization process of video games.
Hence, in order to save from the additional costs in the future, these publishers are part of the translation process from the beginning. Meaning, once the video game enters the conceiving and designing stage, the translation process starts concurrently.
Dual Functionality in Game Localization
One of the biggest challenges faced by game developers during the localization process is maintaining the coherence of text and the storyline of the games. Meanwhile ensuring the translated content is understood by the gamer. So that he can utilize that information and understand the situation of that game.
And in order to make this possible, the translator should be aware of the game himself. In other words, should be a gamer himself. Because if he just looks at the text and then decides to translate it, simply, he will not be able to maintain the situational factor of the video game. The text is very to the point and contains no contextual background of the video game. Hence, the translator should be aware of these factors before he begins to localize.
Thereby, you cannot ask website localization services to do this job for you. You need the assistance of gaming translation services to do the job for you. As they hire only gamers who have the expertise of the video gaming world, plus strong know-how of video game localization appended by years of translation experience.
The technology being used in the video gaming industry will keep on ameliorating. Hence, translation technology would also need to be updated concurrently, so that an effective and coherent localization process of video games translation could be enabled.
That also propels another important factor relating to game localizers. They would probably have to enter this field with the mindset of adapting to any change that may come. And surely it will come. However, the good news is that it will definitely create a more specialized industry for gaming translation services. Where the need for competent and diligent people would be required who can face any adverse challenge that the localization process might throw at them.