The gaming landscape has become an important part of the global entertainment industry. By 2024, revenue of the global video game market is expected to exceed US$282 billion. Everyone is hooked on his or her favorite game nowadays. Gaming communities are conducting huge and successful international competitions with handsome rewards. Indicators suggest that by 2027, with an annual growth of 8.76%, the global video game revenue will exceed US$363.30 billion. The global game player market crossed the number of 3 billion players in 2023. This highlights the financial potential of the gaming industry, which used to be perceived as just a recreational activity. But this is not the case anymore. Industrialized globalization paved the way for video game localization. Today we are going to discuss the most essential element of video game localization which is often overlooked. Yes! We are talking about the audio elements of the game localization. 

The video game industry has traveled so far from where it started. We are far beyond just providing captivating graphics and exciting levels. In today’s modern gaming industry, improving the player experience depends on captivating and retaining the player’s attention with interesting storytelling and creating diverse narratives. Modern games are so close to reality that they provide a healthy escape from mundane reality. Some of the top-of-the-shelf modern games are Mass Effect, Red Dead Redemption, Cyberpunk 2077, and The Last of Us. These video games have extraordinarily captivating narratives and are professionally localized to cater to the global markets. Additionally, the animated HBO  series “The Last of Us” also proved to be a blockbuster with an 8.7 IMDb ranking. The link between the gaming and entertainment industries is continuously thinning. This highlights the vast canvas of the modern gaming industry. The key point is to keep the players engaged with graphic quality and hook them with interesting narratives and engaging storylines. However, apart from all these elements of a great video game, global accessibility is one of the key requirements. Different languages and diverse cultural inclinations limit the scope and access of a good game. Localizing all the in-game graphics, audio, and marketing-related material is a prerequisite for successful games. 

Below is the comprehensive chart highlighting the importance, need, and potential results of video game localization. 

Audio Localization of Games Potential Goals Potential Results
Importance of Video Game Audio Localization  1. Localized audio creates a more globalized and engaging experience 
2. Cultural references and fun elements resonate better with target markets
3. Players are far more likely to stay engaged in a game they can fully understand 
1. Localized audio creates better reviews, increases user satisfaction, and creates organic growth
2. High-quality audio localization uplifts your game from competitors 
Need of Video Game Audio Localization  1. The gaming industry has created a global demand with vast audiences beyond English-speaking countries
2. Enables game developers to reach and engage a player base who prefer their native language
1. Reach a wider audience, connect to more potential players 
2. Localized audio of games builds brand recognition in new markets, creating a global player base, trust, and brand loyalty
Benefits of Video Game Audio Localization  1. Localization of game audio allows developers to adapt audio content to avoid offensive or insensitive elements in different cultures
2. Localized audio incorporates players with hearing impairments who rely on subtitles or audio descriptions
1. Localized audio creates a sense of community among global players 
2. Games with well-localized audio can cater to the player base from different cultures and nations

Understanding the Process of Video Game Audio Localization 

The process of video game audio localization is a key part of global game development and requires the professional services of voice actors, a studio set up with modern equipment, and seamless integration of the voice-over audios with different game elements. It is a technical process that requires a comprehensive understanding of the game audio localization process and undertaking all the potential challenges.  

Document the Details of Every Character

For professional and accurate audio localization, describe the characters of the game like their look, color, names, age, specific role in the game plot, character progression with game narrative, and relations with other characters, etc. Moreover, attaching the videos of the in-action characters or screenshots will also help. When it comes to the video game localization, these details are relevant and contribute to the overall quality of the game’s audio localization. 

Implementation of Game Audio Localization

Evaluation and precise estimation of the time limit are the most important tasks of a game audio localization project. It must be carried out at the start of the project. Voice artists will follow the time limits and create the localized audio accordingly. 

 This is the optimal workflow of the game audio localization project:

Role Responsibilities
Project Manager (Editor) Workflow, task & issue assignment, & oversee the overall execution of the game audio localization process
Engineering Team Mainly responsible for developing (Computer Assisted Tools) CAT tools to facilitate the game audio localization process
Sound Technician Assist the sound director
Sound Director Manage and overlook the in-studio recording and coordinated with voice actors and sound technicians
Audio Engineer Maintain the quality of the source audio and target audio files
Testing and QA Team Addresses the issues, meets deadlines, and maintains the quality of the deliverables.

Stages of Game Audio Localization

Before starting any studio work, a script is prepared including detailed information about the target languages, game characters, game narrative, and storyline with detailed information about the action, fun, conversations, and cultural references of the source language. In the workflow of the game audio localization, voice recording is the last step. Before this, audio scripts must be produced and a character-wise complete storyline is written according to the target language(s). For the professional execution and maintaining the quality of the video game audio localization process, companies hire professional translation services. Although there are dozens of companies that can take your game audio localization project in reality there are few that can meet the delivery timeline while retaining the quality.

The process of game audio localization might seem simple at the forefront but in reality, it is a constant communication between the project managers, language service providers, (LSP) localization professionals, marketing team, voice artists, and game developers. Among the diverse benefits of hiring a game translation company, the primary ease is that a professional LSP would keep the client out of the resource management, contracts, intellectual property, agile support, etc. 

Another important point about the quality of game audio translation and localization is the details of the instructions. As we have discussed earlier, the more in-depth the documentation about the characters and their relation with the game narrative is, the more clarity a voice artist will have. This can include the detailed character persona, motivations, and the relation of characters with each other and the overall game narrative. These details will greatly assist the language service provider in assigning the role to the relevant artist, casting, audition, etc. This will greatly add to the value and quality of your video game audio translation and localization process. 

Stages  Action Goals
Pre-Production Script Preparation 1. Jokes, in-game lingo, references, and advertisements resonate.
2. In-game scripts are adapted for local humor and cultural nuances
3. Help to find the perfect voice actors who capture the essence of each character, regardless of language and role
Recording and Engineering High-Quality-Recordings 1. Crisp recordings with minimal background noise for an immersive experience
2. Adjusting sound effects and background music to fit the localized script and cultural context.
Localization Process Voice-over recording, lip-syncing, and audio mixing 1. Recordings of  voice-overs in the target language, ensuring natural delivery and emotional resonance
2. Accurate voice-sync adjustments ensure characters’ mouth movements match the translated dialogue
3. The smooth blending of localized voices, sound effects, and music for a captivating game audio experience.

Hire a Professional Game Audio Localization Company!

If you are a game development or publishing company aiming for the global success of your game. You must acquire the services of a professional game audio localization company. Because the complex process of game audio localization and resource management could be a hectic task for you. CCJK is a leading game audio localization and translation service provider with more than two decades of industry experience. We always retain quality and deliver on time.