Dasha Kobzeva, Head of Marketing and PR, Playrix, is our guest blogger for this post.
Playrix is a strong team of more than 100 inspired professionals, dedicated to creating multi-platform video games of the highest quality. The company was founded in2004 and since the very beginning we've been striving to accomplish our mission- to bring fun to millions of our players worldwide by creating unique games.It is impossible to fulfill our mission and engage a truly global audience without localizing our apps into different languages.
We have seen a significant increase in the number of downloads and monetization levels on various platforms after launching a localized version of the game, that is why we believe that developers should not overlook this opportunity.
Here are a few tips we’d like to share with fellow-developers on how to manage localization based on our own experience:
1. Localize Smart
Obviously there is no need to localize an app in every language out there. Pinpoint the markets that have higher download and monetization rates for your apps and work on the localized versions for these territories. If you do not have enough time or resources to localize the content, make sure to localize your metadata (descriptions and screenshots). It may improve your download rate and attract wider audience.
2. Put Extra Thought into Your App’s Title
Whether to localize the app name or not is a tough question. On the one hand, players might be confused to see different names of the same app in different languages, and sticking to a single name will help to consolidate the game’s brand worldwide. On the other hand, it might be a good idea to localize the name if the universal title makes no sense in the target language or is simply misleading. For instance, when we first brought one of our flagship PC titles, Fishdom, to the German market,online portals were reluctant to use the original English name and wanted us to change it, because in German the name of the game might have been perceived as“Fish Cathedral”. However, at that point the game was very popular and successful in the US, and we decided to stick with the same name, but given different conditions, we might have gone with a more German-friendly name.
3. Provide Contextual Information to Your Translators
Cultural differences may drive characters and story-lines to be perceived differently across markets and languages. Research the markets you are entering and keep cultural differences in mind when localizing your app so that the essence of your apps or games are consistent globally even after translation. Make sure to provide as much contextual information as possible: screenshots, description of the characters, design documentation, string length, character limitations, playable build of the game, link to the existing game or prequels, etc. One of our games, Gardenscapes, features a character, the butler, who uses a lot of British-style jokes and puns, and we wanted to bring this inimitable and funny character to users worldwide in all its integrity. Providing your agency with thorough instructions will save your time eventually and contribute towards quality.
4. Strive for Quality
No matter whether you decide to work with internal translators or an agency, make sure you have a quality translation in the end. Remember that a bad localization is worse than no localization at all. Here at Playrix, we carry out internal linguistic QA after the localized content has been added into the app. If working with an agency, prepare detailed and clear instructions to prevent over-the-top email exchanges.