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2021 game localization and LQA report

In this report, we will go through the most popular localization languages, some fast growing languages and LQA trends that reflect changes to the game localization industry during the pandemic.

2020 was a booming year for the games industry. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, global game revenue reached almost $178 billion in 2020, which is an unprecedented 23% rise compared to 2019 (1). In total, there were approximately 2.8 billion gamers worldwide, out of which over 1.5 billion residing in Asia Pacifics. By the end of 2021, it's predicted that the gaming audience will grow by another 100 million people.   

 

In this report, we will go through the most popular localization languages, some fast growing languages and LQA trends that reflect changes to the game localization industry during the pandemic. 

 

In 2020, game developers most frequently translated games into German, French, European Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Polish. These 10 languages supplied almost 80% of the overall word count, from a pool of 45 languages. 

 

From 2016 to 2020, Asian languages Vietnamese, Thai and Malaysian demonstrated a 11x increase in the growth rate, followed by Hindi (6x), Tagalog (5x) and Arabic (4x). In 2020, altogether, these six languages accounted for over 5% of the total word count pool, compared with 1.4% in 2016. 

 

Interest in the developing markets steadily grows

Due to a high number of gamers and economic developments, the emerging markets are feeling a surge of attention within the games industry, which results in a growing demand for the languages popular in those regions.

 

 The steady interest in Russian, one of the top 10 languages, can be partly explained by the 1.31% revenue growth rate in the Russian video game market in 2020, considerably higher than -6.28% in Germany and -7.52% in France (Newzoo data).

 

Asian markets traditionally grow faster than North American or European countries.

Revenue-wise, Indonesia and Philippines grew by over 60% between 2018 and 2020. 78% of Philippino gamers are from the middle or high income class. Therefore, the revenue generated by games will have high potential to continue to increase. The game ARPU of the Philippines is twice as much as that of India ($15 vs $7 respectively), however, thanks to its 312 million players, Indian games revenue doubled in four years, from $1.1 to $2.2 billion, making it #12 largest games market in the world (Newzoo data).

Due to character limits, I can’t share the full report here. If you want to know more about game localization and LQA insights, click here to download the full report for free.

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