5 Challenges for Mobile Game Translation and Localization

Localizing a mobile game and opening it for the global market leads to higher profits and stronger brand authority. If you have a playable mobile app on your hands, why not consider tapping into the global market?

Although beneficial for your budget, mobile game localization is tricky. It comes with a unique set of challenges that you need to take into account during this process. To avoid making rookie mistakes, here are five main challenges for mobile game translation and localization to look out for.

Challenge #1 What are the best target languages?

When considering mobile game localization, start by identifying the target markets with the biggest potential. Your game’s overall success depends on it. Ask yourself: what are the most profitable markets? Look for countries where gamers are still unfamiliar with your work and where the competition is not too strict. Analyze the statistics to determine the best target languages for your game localization.

According to Lovotrans, the top mobile app localization languages, other than English, are Japanese, Korean, Chinese, German, and French. Another huge emerging market in Southeast Asia. Try to get as much information as possible before going global to increase your chances of success in the future.

Challenge #2 Who is going to localize your mobile game?

Whether you decide to form an internal team or hire a professional translation agency, your goal is the same - high-quality localization and exceptional gaming experience. To ensure your mobile game remains authentic when translated into another language, you need to work with linguistic and localization experts.

Finding a trustworthy translation partner is another common challenge for mobile game developers. Take your time to explore the possibilities. Remember that the right localization partner will make sure the voice and tone of your game stay true to the original while at the same time culturally adapted for the target market.

Challenge #3 Mobile game localization is more than translation

Understanding that mobile game localization goes beyond translation is of utmost importance. A high-quality translation is not enough; the mobile game needs to look like it was originally intended for that particular market. If the local gamers are able to fully experience the game universe and eventually feel like they’re a part of that world, then you know the localization was successful.

The best way to ensure your translation team delivers a high-quality gaming experience is to provide them with a localization kit. Have them learn as much as possible about the game. Share your knowledge about the storyline and the characters, or anything that could help them get the full picture.

Challenge #4 Make it culturally relevant

Mobile game translation errors are quite common. It’s safe to say they affect the entire gaming experience. One of the main reasons why poor translations happen is the cultural barrier. That’s why your linguistic team needs to be made of native speakers, completely familiar with the locale’s culture.

Errors in opening scenes, titles, and dialogues have the power to ruin the game and its story. Sometimes these mistakes turn out offensive, affecting your brand reputation and authority. Your team of translators should be prepared to change jokes, idioms, and specific expressions to suit the culture of your target audience.

Mobile games are filled with jokes and slang. These expressions are ever-changing, so your linguists need to keep up in order to create an engaging gaming experience through localization.

Challenge #5 Localization and translation speed

Game localization is a complex process that can’t be done overnight. To avoid delays, we suggest your start your project as soon as possible. Due to quality assurance checks, proofreading, editing, testing, to name a few, your game localization will take some time.

Working with experienced translation agencies can make this process a lot faster. At Language Buró, our linguists work together and use technology to maximize efficiency. We can work alongside your developers even while the app is still in development to deliver high-quality results, keeping the turnaround time as short as possible.

Hiring a trustworthy professional translation agency is the best way to overcome these common challenges for mobile game localization. If you want to reach global audiences and make them a part of your game world, don’t let the language barrier stop you.

Language Buró offers mobile game translation and localization services. We think of language as an opportunity rather than a barrier. We want to help you provide a fantastic gaming experience for users across the world. Get in touch with us today to receive a free localization quote.