Why Game Translation Is Essential to Winning Over Gamers

Picture this: you’ve spent hours conquering demons and slaying monsters, and you’ve finally rescued the princess and beat the game—only to have this translation appear on your screen: “Congraturation. This story is happy end.” That’s exactly what happened to many people playing the English version of the Japanese game Ghosts ‘n Goblins.

High quality game translation is essential if you want to avoid such “happy ends”. Here’s how it’ll help:

Good Translations Help Immerse Gamers into the Virtual World

Gaming is all about the experience, drawing players into the virtual world and helping them have fun. Just as you build your game to have beautiful graphics and compelling music, the text on the screen and the characters’ dialogue all contribute to the virtual experience. When a gamer sees a mistranslation, it is jarring and kills the mood.

Localized Games Get More Purchases

Localized apps receive up to 128 percent more downloads per country. Potential customers are much more likely to purchase your game if it’s available in their native language.

Gamers React Negatively to Translation Fails

Games by their very nature provoke an emotional reaction. Certain games have large followings, and die-hard fans take them seriously. Although a mistranslation in a refrigerator manual probably won’t evoke much of an emotional response from a consumer, a mistranslation of a character’s dialogue in a role-playing game likely will.

Games Have Their Own Jargon

The gaming industry in particular has specialized terminology that can be difficult to translate. For example, the word “mob,” which often means “monster” or “beast” in the gaming world, could be easily confused with its more common meaning of “a large crowd of people.” A game translator with an understanding of gaming culture and the culture of your target market would be able to provide an accurate, localized translation, whereas an inexperienced translator might miss the mark.

How Smartling Makes Game Translation Easy

Game localization is just as important as it is challenging. Luckily, Smartling makes it easy with the following features:

  • Translation memory: Smartling’s software remembers the translations of sentences you’ve used before, so if your latest game update uses the same words, there is no need to retranslate. This saves both time and money.
  • Cloud centralization: Our translation tool keeps all your work in the cloud, so everything stays up-to-date and your translators and employees can easily access it when they need to.
  • Automatic content collection: Due to its enterprise-grade application programming interface, Smartling automatically collects changes, sends them to your workflow, and returns translated updates immediately.
  • Connects you with Translators: You’re free to hire your own translators or let Smartling connect you with high-quality game translators.


Image source: Flickr


About Amy Rigby

Amy Rigby is a freelance writer and world traveler who divides her time mostly between the San Francisco Bay Area and Cusco, Peru. She has a fascination with words, language acquisition and all things animals. Her writing specialities are marketing, travel, photography and technology.