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Video: The logistics nightmare of launching StarCraft II in 11 languages

Blizzard Entertainment's senior manager of platform services William Barnes discusses how and why StarCraft II was localized in 11 languages for launch, courtesy of a free lecture from GDC Vault.

Game Developer, Staff

February 15, 2013

2 Min Read

Courtesy of the GDC Vault comes a free lecture from William Barnes of Blizzard Entertainment on how and why StarCraft II was localized in 11 languages for launch. Presented at GDC 2012, he discusses how the team approached the level of localization such that any player, regardless of locale, would experience the game feeling it was made specifically for them. Among the many challenges, Barnes looks at the QA structure, voice over with lip syncing, and user interface issues the localization team faced. Session Name: StarCraft II - Carte Blanche Localization Speaker(s): William Barnes Company Name(s): Blizzard Entertainment Track / Format: Localization Summit Overview:When Blizzard launched StarCraft II in July of 2010, it was lauded globally as one of the most thoroughly localized games ever. Jim Raynor enunciated perfect Korean, Dr. Hanson's French was sublime, and Tychus Findlay spoke flawless Russian. The multi-player unit VO was every bit as entertaining in Italian as it was in English. The melting pot city streets of the multi-player maps hinted at Ridley Scott's depiction of Los Angeles 2019. The in-game cut-scenes and pre-rendered sequences were tailored perfectly for eleven locales. And even the Map Editor was launched fully localized in 11 languages. Hear how and why Blizzard elected to localize StarCraft II as comprehensively as they did.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins. Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.

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