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To Localize or Not To Localize: That is The Question

When it comes to games, many developers must wonder whether to localize their games or not. So Hamlet’s “To be or not to be?” turns into Developers’ “To localize or not to localize?”. Find out what the answer is and why.

“To be or not to be?” is probably the best-known line ever written in literature. If anyone is asked to quote a line from Shakespeare’s works, this is certainly the one that will first come into mind.
 
When it comes to games, many developers must wonder whether to localize their games or not. So Hamlet’s “To be or not to be?” turns into Developers’ “To localize or not to localize?”. 
 
But, is that even still a question!? Really??
 
In this globalized world we’re living in, I can’t even imagine someone still pondering the need for localization. If you still have doubts as a developer about investing in localization, you’d better get your gears in action - and fast - instead of wasting time and have your competitors outsmart you.

Because your competitors will get ahead of you! Well, they have already grasped that with game localization they will reach new markets, the non-English speaking community - “only” ¾ of the gaming population, if that still need mentioning- who is buying and playing their games. They will definitely have better results and their games will become far better-known.


Why choose to localize?


You need the messages to echo with ideas and concepts familiar to the gamers’ native language. Once localization is over, apart from achieving this, you’ll also get more people find you out on the Web.

As mentioned above a huge chunk of the community, some 75% of the gaming market worldwide,  is made of non-English speakers. Localization helps increase traffic considerably. And don’t forget to also localize keywords! 


Highlights: 


MASS MARKETS

* Target international mass markets: Nowadays with localization you can reach markets overseas  -Japanese, Korean, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish....- easily!


SALES TO ROCKET

* See your sales shoot through the roof: With new audiences having access to your game, new people will start buying it and the overall cost of localization will soon be covered by additional sales.


It’s been proved that most people prefer buying in their own language...and if they like it they will be your best marketing tool.

WORD-OF-MOUTH ADVERTISING

* Get free advertising: I’m sure you’ve heard about word-of-mouth advertising. What’s best than that? The more players you get the more publicity you’ll get. When comments come from actual satisfied players, other players consider this feedback valuable and trustworthy.


But ensure your localization is top-notch or all this could boomerang back and create a counter-effect.



New countries, new continents, new players! As many developers have said: “Benefits by far outweigh the investment.”

Note: Also read the post “BESMART: 7 Tips for Successful Game Localization”

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/LauraDF/2011060/7720/BESMART_7_Tips_for_Successful_Game_Localization.php

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