Making a game can be a large project, whatever the type of game. There are many different aspects to figure out, many things to plan and organize, and of course, many things that game developers have to pay for.
It is understandable that game developers try to avoid paying as many costs as they can, and many people wonder if they can cut costs by not getting professional gaming translation services for their game project. In this blog, let's take a look at the benefits that come from paying for a professional translation of your game.
Why get a game translated?
Games are one of the easiest products to sell in foreign markets. Games can be delivered fully digitally, which means you do not have to worry about shipping or warehouses or any other large expenses in delivery. This means that you could potentially be looking at huge profits coming in from countries all over the world without ever having a physical product.
However, to make the most of this potential, you need to make sure that your game product is up to the standards for retail in every country you intend to market to - and this includes getting translations.
Is gaming translation really that important?
Yes, absolutely. While a few die-hard gaming fans will muddle through games in a foreign language, this is generally only for immensely popular games.
Most people will not buy or play games that do not feature their language - and considering how many languages there are in the world, that means that translation is a hugely important part of the game development process.
Even if your game is in a commonly spoken language like English, there are still almost three-quarters of the world who do not speak English, meaning that if you only have English language options available, you are missing out on huge portions of the market.
What about cheaper options?
There are absolutely other options for getting translations rather than hiring a professional, but there is a reason why professional translation services are still in business - ultimately, the cheaper options are just not as good. One route a lot of people take is to get a friend or family member to translate their game for them, but this can be a very poor route to go down.
Unless the person you ask is familiar with the target language to the standard of a native speaker, your customers will no doubt find a lot of errors and sentences with poor phrasings - like the infamous 'all your base are belong to us' translation incident.
There are so many ways to avoid poor translations, and if your game is badly translated you could easily get bad reviews which leads to a drop in sales. Professional gaming translation services can help you avoid that.
What about computer translation?
Another option people like to consider is machine translation or computer-aided translation. There are many different computer programs that can help with translation, and many of these options are cheap - some are even free.
However, there is a very similar problem to the one listed above - the translations often seem stilted, confused, and wrong.
This is because translation programs work using complex algorithms which translate single words or short phrases, rather than looking at the whole text. A computer can translate words, but it does not know what it is translating, so it cannot tell whether it has got it right or wrong. Again, if you have a badly translate section of the text, you can put off customers.
Do I need to get audio and text translated?
This is a harder question and will depend on your game. Some people will release games with only one audio language but subtitles in all their target languages. Some players prefer this, while some prefer audio in their own language.
Getting your game translated using professional gaming translation services can help immensely when you release your game. It may seem like an unwanted expense, but as most game developers know, you need to have all the pieces right to make the game come together and be the smash hit they hope it will be.