In the early 1900s, the whole world witnessed a technological shift in business preferences, and these preferences changed the way marketing, development, and business communication work. It was the start of globalization across countries and industries. Later, from the start of 2000 when the internet and smart devices became the name of the game, the need for translation and localization was felt across the gaming market. The global gaming market is projected to reach the threshold of US$ 282.30 bn by 2027. Moreover, the number of global gamers is projected to reach the whooping number of 1,472 m users. 

The need and importance of game translation and localization have escalated to an unprecedented global scale. Since the world has become a global hub, developers are creating games for international markets and are expected to make their games localization-friendly. This is where game localization becomes part and parcel of the game development process. However, each game is infused with particular elements related to its genre, category, and cultural nuances of the target audience(s).

What is video game localization and why acquiring video game localization services is the need of the hour? It is not just translation, the term localization includes the professional adaptation of all the relevant data to the cultural preferences and requirements of the international users. The primary aim is to provide global players with an immersive and user-friendly gaming experience. Most of the games are developed in the English language but the language of target markets can be varied. Therefore, it is important to opt for game localization to provide a better user experience and generate more revenue. 

Understanding the Game Localization 

Game localization is a diverse process that involves multiple experts at multiple levels and can be segregated into multiple stages to enable the game elements professionally adapted for the target market(s). This involves changes at the development stage, language requirements, and regulatory compliance. The first step is the evaluation of the target requirements and achievable goals. Moreover, cost-cutting is preferable at the game development stage. At that stage, the main priority of the developers is to get the game up and running. This could work well for your game if you’re not planning to launch your game for global players. 

However, it is a general practice that after the game’s local release, most of the game developers start to think about increasing the player base by attracting global game players. Then they turn to game localization to target the global player base. Game localization is mostly adapting the language of the game for the target region’s culture, language, limitations, preferences, and adherence to other related factors. This involves the adaptation of the interface of the game. 

For example, if a game needs to be translated into Spanish and its rustic character has English jokes, game localization involves replacing the English joke with a Spanish one which is not only popular in Spanish but also acceptable for the target player base. Replacing the joke involves the in-game text-place adjustment (resizing) and could involve the designers. That is why the seamless collaboration of the game localization team with developers and designers is crucial. 

Worksheet for Professional Video Game Localization 

For comprehensive understanding, let’s break down the video game localization process into stages. It will not only help us achieve the target but also assist us in keeping track of the progress. To understand more clearly, let’s find out the best practices for video game localization

Stage Details Key Points  Deliverables
Pre-Localization Stage Market Selection: Identify target markets with high potential
Cultural Nuances: Understand cultural nuances, humor, and references
1. Target audience demographics & preferences
2. Cultural sensitivities and potential roadblocks
Market Research Report
Content Preparation Stage Text Compilation: Extract all in-game text (menus, dialogues, UI)
Glossary Creation: Identify and define key game terminology for consistency
1. Use extraction tools for efficiency 
2. Standardize terminology across all languages
1. Extracted text files and localized glossary
Localization Stage Text Localization: Translate text while maintaining context and cultural relevance with the target market(s)
Graphics & Audio Localization: Adapt art styles, sound effects, and music for target markets 
Technical Considerations: Address character encoding, date formats, and UI layout
1. Utilize experienced translators familiar with gaming terminology
2. Adapt humor, references, and visuals to resonate with the target audience
3. Ensure technical compatibility across platforms and languages.
1. Localized text files 
2. Localized graphics and audio assets 
3. Technical specifications document
Quality Assurance (QA) Stage Linguistic Testing: Verify translation accuracy and cultural appropriateness 1. Test across different platforms and devices. 
2. Conduct in-context reviews by native speakers
1. Bug reports 
2. Localization feedback reports
Deployment Stage Integration: Integrate localized assets into the game
Release and Ongoing Support: Monitor player feedback and address localization issues
1. Follow platform-specific guidelines for integration
2. Be prepared to address post-launch localization requests.
1. Updated game build 
2. Localization support plan

Tips for Effective Game Localization

 Pre-Game Localization Planning and Requirements

Before you start your game localization project, ensure that the pre-localization requirements are fulfilled. Find out more about video game localization tips so that the process of your game localization runs smoothly without any delays and hurdles.

  • Compiling the necessary game information.
  • Legal documentation and Agreements.
  • Preparing the documentation of the crucial procedures.
  • Curating a professional workflow about how to work with a game localization agency and resource allocation.
  • It is better to establish an internal game localization project management workflow. 
  • Set procedural communication protocols for internal data and information privacy.
  • Cost analysis and budget allocation.
  • Time for testing modules.
  • Take measures to cope with QA issues.

Content Extraction for Game Localization 

For an effective game localization process and execution, all the in-game content, dialogues, sounds, names, menus, further instructions, etc must be compiled in text form. All these content formats will be analyzed by industry-expert localization teams and tailored for the linguistic and cultural nuances, preferences, and limitations of the target markets. 

Steps Details Tools
Identify Extractable Text Locate all in-game text elements (menus, dialogues, UI prompts) Scripting tools, code analysis
Extract Text Strings Isolate text from code or game assets Translation and localization management platforms, custom scripts
Format and Organize Clean and categorize extracted text for efficient translation Spreadsheet software, localization management tools
Quality Check Verify completeness and accuracy of extracted text Manual review, automated checks

Video Game Translation and Localization 

When all the relevant content is delivered to the localization agency, the video game localization team translates the source content into the target language while adhering to the marketing preferences and contextual relevances. Cultural references, jokes, and idiomatic expressions must be translated with utmost care and consideration. Voiceovers and subtitles can be added if needed or required.

Stage Details Pro Tips
Translation  Translate text while maintaining context and clarity Utilize glossaries and style guides for consistency Translator experience with gaming terminology.  Cultural adaptation of humor, references, and tone
Localization Adapt art, audio, and UI elements for target markets Consider voice-over casting that reflects cultural nuances Right-to-left language support (if applicable)Technical compatibility across platforms and languages

Video Game UI Localization

Usually when in-game text is translated into other languages, the design space is affected. The user interface can be adjusted according to the translated text, layouts, and designs. Moreover, the text of images, banners, and any other in-game text ) signboards, advertisements, and graphics are also tailored to the target language, culture, and contextual preferences. 

Aspect  Tips Examples
Color Schemes Be mindful of cultural color associations Avoid using red and white exclusively (possible danger signal in some cultures)
Button Placement Maintain intuitive button placement, considering reading direction (left to right Vs. right to left) Keep the back and next buttons in the same relative positions
Iconography Adapt icons to be culturally appropriate and understandable Replace a thumbs-up icon with a local equivalent
Font and Readability Ensure translated text remains legible with different fonts Test UI elements with various language fonts
Text Length Consider character limits for the translated text to avoid UI overflow Shorten level select to levels

Quality Assurance (QA) of Video Game Localization

Quality assurance is the final step of the workflow of the game localization process. The subject matter experts test the quality of the localized material. Accuracy of the translations, contextual references, technical strings, UI/UX-related issues, etc are tested for potential errors. Furthermore, functional testing is performed for seamless sync of translations, audio, controls, and other gameplay mechanics. 

Stage Details Focus
Functional Testing Playtesting localized builds across platforms Ensure core gameplay mechanics and UI functions work correctly in the new language
Linguistic Testing Review translated text by native speakers Verify accuracy, cultural appropriateness, and natural flow of the language
In-Context Testing Playtesting localized builds with a focus on the translated text Identify awkward phrasing, mistranslated jokes, or cultural inconsistencies within the game’s context.


Video game localization is one of the smartest ways to attract global players. Translation is one of the key parts of the game localization process. CCJK is a leading video game translation service provider with more than two decades of experience. Our subject matter expert native translators will ensure cultural relevance and adherence to the target language and market. We always prioritize quality and deliver within the stipulated time. Contact us today!