The technical video game localization process is fairly complicated. Due to multiple factors, and depending on the technique you choose. Often, video game developers go with subtitles for the sole purpose of keeping the localization cost lower. However, dubbing and voiceovers have become a much more popular option in recent years.

There are many pros and cons to both. For more information about the techniques, see our article on Dubbing vs Subtitles: Both translation methods explained.  In this article, we are going to focus on the technical video game localization process for either technique. So, if you’re looking for a more detailed process of each technique, see the following articles:

The step-by-step technical video game localization process

  1. Video Game Translation
  2. Editing the translation
  3. Proofreading
  4. Add translation into game
  5. Quality and cultural adaption check
  6. Packaging localization

Step 1: Video Game Translation

  • Once the files have been received, it’s time for the translation process. Firstly, a team of native translators and linguists work on the in-game dialogue. After, they can create a script. In addition to language translation, the linguists will add in any regional phrases. As well as religious and cultural nuances.
  • For full localization, the translation process extends to OST (On-screen text) translation. So, any graphics or elements that have text are translated as well.

Step 2: Editing the translation

  • The editing step makes sure the translation and terminology are correct.

Step 3: Proofreading

  • This phase includes correcting any spelling mistakes or typos. Often, the text is edited alone, and not in the game.

Step 4: Add translation into game

  • The translation is ready to be integrated into the game! Once it has been added, the game is checked to make sure that the graphics and dialogue are perfect.

Step 5: Quality and cultural adaption check

  • The localization company will ensure the highest quality of translation for your game. Furthermore, this step ensures linguistic quality assurance.
  • For example, Australian video games do not allow for alcohol or drugs in a game. By working with a provider that understands the market you are targeting, they will handle the adaption.

Step 6: Packaging localization

  • Lastly, localize your packaging to match your newly adapted game. There are many legal aspects to translating the information inside. For example, the health and safety instructions etc.

The technical process of localizing a video game can be more detailed. Often, it varies on the company that you choose. However, the main steps are the bare essentials you need to successfully localize your video game to new markets.

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