With people forced to sit at their homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global games market is getting stronger. For example, according to this report:
For mobile and PC games per region, you can download quarterly updated key numbers from various sources, such as Newzoo. Newzoo also shares numbers that illustrate the top 10 markets ranked by their estimated revenue.
Games on Steam, the largest PC games distributor in the world, used to focus on FIGS, CJK, and major Slavic languages. In 2019, Nimdzi gathered interactive statistics on the localization of 26,344 games on Steam in order to determine the top 10 most popular languages games on the platform are localized into.
In April 2020, we did this exercise again and filtered a total of 34,815 Steam games to learn that:
When compared to the previous year, the top 5 language selection stays the same. In order to go global, game developers and publishers simply cannot ignore the top languages for gaming. But the overall top 10 language situation for games on Steam has changed. For example, the proportion of Russian (which outpaced Spanish) and Simplified Chinese (which outpaced Italian) increased, and Korean pushed Polish out of the top 10. For developers, it is paramount to understand the target market for the game they are developing, as that will likely dictate which languages they will need to consider localizing into.
We all know how quickly the video game industry has grown into a worldwide market. We also know how important localization and cultural adaption is for companies seeking to go global. But what is the best way to integrate language technology into game development? What technologies are available and which ones are the best?
In recent years localizing video games has become one of the essential strategies for reaching more players worldwide. The rapid growth of technology networks, the sophistication of today’s mobile phones and their increased affordability have made it easier for millions of people to access the Android and iOS app stores.
One of the most widespread assumptions is that in order to launch a successful game in multiple markets, studios just need to focus on having a good translation of the source content. It’s a good start, but there are a multitude of additional factors that developers must take into account when localizing their video game.