Localization is the process involved in making a product – whether it’s a game, content, images, a website, or whatever – more appropriate for the target audience. The purpose is to more closely connect with people who will be buying your product or viewing your website, for example. In the digital age, when companies have utilized the Internet to sell their products to people from all over the world, localization has become a vital part in the success stories of businesses in many different industries. And perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the mobile gaming arena. Gaming has skyrocketed in popularity with people all over the world during the past several years. In fact, revenue from the mobile gaming industry reached a worldwide total of over $40 billion in 2017 alone. In this highly competitive marketplace, owners of gaming companies are utilizing localization for several reasons.
To sell more product
No matter what industry you’re in, it all boils down to this bottom line: your company needs to sell your product or service in order to succeed. When it comes to purchasing mobile gaming apps, your potential customers are much more likely to buy an app that is in their native language and uses images that they can readily identify with. Employ experienced, professional translators to convert your game to the target language, and do your homework to make sure that images are appropriate for your customers as well.
To increase the number of downloads
The more visibility your product has, the better. And when it comes to mobile gaming, that means increasing your number of downloads. Players are much more likely to download games that are available in their native language, and that includes using images they can relate to. The impact of localizing your mobile gaming app is impressive: one study suggests that it can increase your downloads by has much as 128%.
To stay ahead of the competition
Even keeping up with the competition – much less staying ahead of it – is a tall order in the mobile gaming industry. Put simply, the more potential customers you appeal to, the more competitive your product will be. And you can be certain that the most successful gaming companies are already localizing their products in order to maximize their potential marketplace. And there’s another possibility to consider: your game might be a bigger seller outside of the U.S. than it is inside the U.S. You’ll never know the potential your product has if you don’t make it playable in other languages. Remember that gaming is far from a U.S. phenomenon. In fact, some of the most avid gamers in the world are in China and South Korea, not to mention other countries around the globe.
Whether you’re just starting out in the mobile gaming industry, or are a seasoned pro looking to expand your market, don’t underestimate the importance of localization. Statistics make it clear that the potential is huge – you just need to do everything you can to tap into it. Consider the Chinese market as one example. Recent studies show that in 2018 one-third of the people of China are mobile gamers. That means 459 million people, which is more than the total population of both the U.S. and Japan combined. The official language of China is Mandarin Chinese, so it doesn’t seem likely that many of those Chinese gamers will be interested in buying a game that is only available in English. The facts are simple enough: if you want to succeed in the mobile gaming industry, you’ll need to localize your games. Start by identifying your target markets, then contact a reputable translation company who can help walk you through the process.