Video Game Tuesday: Localization

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.
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funny

This week on Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about a topic near and dear to my heart. It’s all about Localization!

What is Localization?: Localization is the process of adapting internationalized software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text. In terms of Video Games that means re-dubbing the game and translating all the systems of the game.

Why am I talking about it?: Because a lot of great games never get published in western countries because it’s too much of a hassle to localize the game. With the Anime crowd growing larger each year however using subtitles and ignoring the process of dubbing makes it easier to bring great games over to the states. That being said some of my favorite games like Tales of Vesperia have Japanese only versions with an expanded game. There are fan-made patches out there, but those require you to break warranties at the very least and that’s a shame. That being said there are some obvious reasons why some things don’t get ported overseas, as the content may not sell very well and is so niche in terms of audience that it would be a waste of money.

What’s the funny part?: Well sometimes you get really bad translations, like the one above. Other times the joke gets lost in translation, with there being no equivalent joke in other languages. JRPGs are notorious for this particularly.

What can I do to bring games I want over to my country? Well let the publisher know you want it by buying any localized entries in that series that come out. Even if it’s not an amazing entry it will let them know they can bring other entries over in the future. Otherwise it’ll forever stay a non localized series.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

 

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