Want To Maximize Profits from Your Video Game? How Game Localization Will Improve Sales

It’s no secret that the video game industry amounts to billions of dollars every year in revenue. Developers all over the world create their video games to see their passions come to life, but also to reach into the deep pockets of gamers worldwide.

The Global Video Game Market 

With the current state of the world, statistics show that the global video game market is on track to be worth almost $200 billion by the year 2022. 

With a worldwide pandemic showing no signs of slowing, the correlation with video game sales is not surprising. Indie developers alone are responsible for over $1 billion in sales. 

However, there’s a surprising mistake many AAA developers make is their lack of expansion to international markets. While the price of localization might be the reason that many developers decide not to expand, AAA and indie developers alone should expand their search to find affordable, yet high-quality, localization services. 

The Benefits of Game Localization

If you ever look at the Steam community, forum, or social media pages of games that didn’t take advantage of localization, you’ll see posts from many disgruntled fans wondering why the developers or publishers decided against localization in their country. Some of the more obvious benefits of localization include:

  • Increased popularity and sales
  • Puts you ahead of the competition
  • Increases customer loyalty

Localization Increases Sales and Popularity

Let’s get the most obvious benefit of localization out of the way: increased revenue. When some think of localization, they think of simply translating a game to the targeted location’s language. However, a quality game localization services worth their salt will know there’s more to localization than simple translation. 

When you localize to your target audience you have to consider their language, any legal requirements, as well as any cultural nuances. For example, if you plan on expanding to markets, such as China, there’s a lot you need to ensure is cut from or changed in your game so as not to offend their laws and culture. 

When you decide to localize, you’re gaining popularity abroad. With your video game available for international sale, you’re expanding to new customers who then translate into increased sales and revenue. 

Localization Puts You Ahead of The Competition

Here’s the issue that many developers and publishers have: localization has become an afterthought for many. While the increase in sales is obvious, many don’t believe localizing a game to a target audience is worth the time and effort. 

Video game developers are trying to push out games yearly now that they’re releasing barely finished games with the promise of more content in the future with DLC. Unfortunately, for these developers, consumers are taking notice of rushed projects pushing out skeletons of games with no bare content and no plans of localization. 

Developers who put forth the effort into localizing will set themselves apart from other companies in the eyes of consumers, and in the rankings of various gaming platforms and app stores. The more purchases or downloads a game has, the high it will appear in stores, thus naturally increasing sales and revenue. 

Localization Increases Customer Loyalty

The video game market is significantly competitive, so customer loyalty to a brand is basically mandatory. It’s difficult enough to engage new customers, let alone convert or retain them once you have their attention. 

Customer loyalty is an important aspect of sales and revenue for a video game, as word-of-mouth, especially in this age of social media, is one of the strongest marketing tools. 

Proof of customer loyalty is found everywhere from social media websites to Steam community forums. A browse through some of the bigger games on Steam with almost no localization abroad shows countless threads of would-be players wishing the game was localized for their market. 

“I wish I could play this, but the developers didn’t care to localize.”

“Is there any reason there’s no localization for my country? There’s a lot here who would like to play.”

On the flip side, if you were to search social media websites, such as Reddit, or Steam community forums of games with developers who did localize, you’ll find some semblance of brand loyalty. 

“This developer truly went the extra mile by localizing the game to my region.”

Gamers who feel heard in a sea of developers who don’t listen to the concerns of their fanbase will make them the strongest proponents of your game. 

The Fine Points of Localization

While it was touched on before about translation, there are a few key points about game localization that are important to mention:

  • Religion
  • Humor/Puns
  • Violence
  • Sexuality
  • Other cultural references

The world is full of different people with various ideologies, cultures, and social values. It’s important that localization services understand all the subtle nuances that come with targeting a specific market. 

Some markets may reject, or even ban, games that have sexual or religious references in the game’s audio or visual scenes. Other markets may not want specific scenes of violence if a game were to be localized there. This gives developers a chance to make the necessary edits to the game or trust localization experts to take care of any scenes that could cause any issues in a specific market. 

While violence, sex, and religious content are some of the more serious points to touch on with localization, it doesn’t have to not be fun and games. For example, localization can include jokes, puns, and references that those of a specific market would enjoy. 

If you’re a video game developer or publisher who wants to reap the benefits of localization, such as increased sales, revenue, popularity, and customer loyalty, then it’s time to let experts at a quality game localization service take care of everything. 

A great localization service will ensure that your target audience gets exactly what they want in terms of the content and values that will see your game rocket to the top of the charts. 

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