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Feature: 'Localizing Brands and Licenses'

For today's main Gamasutra feature, French-based localization associate producer Corinne Isabelle Le Dour (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Prince of Persia series) offers exte
For today's main Gamasutra feature, French-based localization associate producer Corinne Isabelle Le Dour (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Prince of Persia series) offers extensive and highly practical guidelines for properly localizing popular IP. In this excerpt, Le Dour gives specific examples on how the challenges and resources needed increase with especially high profile licenses: "Let's take a look at the Star Wars license. Working on George Lucas’ baby means dealing with millions of fans whose expertise and subsequent attention to details (may they be praised) you won't be able to deceive. You can't invent planet names or choose to translate "light saber" other than "sabre laser" in French or "sable láser" in Spanish (though in the first trilogy it was "Espada de luz"). The French public is used to "Dark Vador" and not "Darth Vader" whether you find this ridiculous or not. "Death Star" is not literally translated for all languages (it is "l'étoile Noire" – black star - in French). Ensure your vendors hire people who are either already familiar with the IP (specialists may be required sometime), or are properly trained. Have them gather as many references as possible -- comic books, movies, books, web sites etc. -- to ensure no stupid mistake will go unnoticed: you don't want to end up with "L'Étoile de la Mort" ingame. Pay attention to spelling and pronunciation of important names. Fans will pin you down for a lot less than a double e missing in "Wookiee"." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject with more on scheduling with movie tie-ins, what to do with bonus in-game clips from your film license, and struggling to maintain your licensor's attention (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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