Video games have become hobbies, passions, and even full-blown careers for many people around the globe. And thanks to the legions of video game fans out there, many games have been translated and localized for different regions. Thus, giving fans a unique experience depending on where they live.
Localizing your video game is all about giving your players a cohesive and enjoyable experience. Put another way, imagine if you were trying to solve a ridiculously hard puzzle in a game, but the only clues to the solution were in a language that you weren’t familiar with.
Would you think that you had a fair chance to complete the game? Or, would you feel frustrated at the language barrier?
Video game localization ensures that your users don’t run into these issues and can fully immerse themselves in the game. But, video game localization doesn’t end with the game itself. Other aspects such as your website, help manuals, and graphical content all play a role.
Today, we’ll dive into one of the most important parts of localizing your video game, localizing your website.
Let’s get started.
Why you should localize your website
Regardless of how customers play your game, having a localized website is crucial for customer engagement. In particular, though, if your game is only available online, your website will be the main way that potential players can find you.
According to Statista, there are roughly 285 million gamers in the North American region with the total number of gamers in the world reaching about 3.25 billion. While not the only native English country in the world, North America is a large driver of gaming revenue, coming second only to China.
Although North America is a large source of revenue, if you avoid localizing your website you’d be mission out on substantial markets such as China, Japan, and South Korea. These Asia-Pacific countries generated $44.26 billion, $20.61 billion, and $7.3 billion respectively.
Website localization benefits
There are many benefits that come with website localization. But, there are three in particular that can move the needle for your video game company. These benefits are improved SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results, wider market reach, and standing out from your competition.
Improving your rankings on Google’s results pages is one of the most beneficial marketing strategies known today. Don’t take my word for it, though.
According to BrightEdge and HubSpot, SEO drives more than 10 times the traffic than social media and 64% of marketers are actively implementing SEO strategies.
But instead of chasing the next hot SEO strategy, you can use localization to improve your reach and Domain Authority (DA). While search ranking competition is getting more and more difficult in English, other languages are much less competitive. This lack of competitiveness is simply because of a lack of content in other languages.
And once you start ranking for keywords in multiple languages, it may have kickback improvements on your already existing pages—even if you don’t modify them.
More reach = more customers
Naturally, the more people that know about your video game, the more potential players and customers you’ll have. Out of the 7.8 billion people in the world, only about 360 million people speak English as their first language.
While you may argue that there are an extra 1 billion people that speak English as a second language, around 65% of these people still prefer content in their native language. Plus, about 76% of internet users prefer product information in their native language.
Whichever statistic you base the math on, these facts reduce your potential user base drastically.
But, when you implement effective website localization you unlock a treasure trove of potential players and fans.
Stand apart from your competition
Not everyone goes through the effort of localizing their website and video games for each new audience they target. This neglect opens up an opportunity for you to better serve your user base and skew the value of your product and website.
Besides standing apart from your competition, you also need to beware of local game developers like Tencent in China. Since Tencent is a homegrown Chinese company, they’ll have an advantage when producing video games and marketing for their local audience. So, to stand a chance against these local companies, you’ll need to provide your Chinese users with authentic website content that persuades them to download or purchase your game.
In our globally connected video game market, the only way to compete across borders is to localize your product (and that includes your website). Otherwise, you risk losing market share to those who go above and beyond for their players.
Website localization tips
Now that you know how valuable website localization is, here are four tips for localizing your website:
1. Start with a content analysis
A content analysis will give you an idea of everything that needs to be localized on your website. You should make a list of every aspect that will need adapting and then structure a plan to follow while localizing. When doing your analysis it’s important to focus on the small details as these all add up to give your users an authentic experience.
2. Consider internationalization before you localize
Internationalization (i18n) involves separating your codebase from elements that may need localization in the future. The main benefit of i18n is the ability to reuse the separated code over and over again for each new website that you build, speeding up the localization process.
3. Create a localization toolkit for your team
Whether you’re planning on having the website localization done by a specialist such as Day Translations or your employees, it’s a good idea to provide the team with a project brief. This brief should contain background information about your game and the experience you want players to have.
4. Ensure that quality control (QC) measures are in place
Quality control is crucial during the localization process. If you’re doing it yourself, you should schedule regular checks at key points during the process. For example, after the content is localized, once images are added, and once more when the process is complete.
Enjoy stress-free website localization for your video game
Here at Day Translations, we know how daunting the localization process can be. With so many details needing adaptation, it’s easy to miss them and end up with a subpar result. That’s why we’ve developed our proprietary eight-step localization process—and yes, it includes multiple quality checks to ensure your project is a success.
Have a new video game that’s ready to hit the market? Give us a call on 1-800-969-6853 and we’ll give you a free quote on your project, in less than 10 minutes!