Video game translation and localization: 5 success stories you will want to repeat

The quality of video game translation and localization is becoming more decisive in gamers’ approval of the product. It’s an unacknowledged job that goes unnoticed when it is well done but, on the other hand, stands out like a neon sign when mistakes and lack of context impede the player from being completely immersed in the game.

Video game translation and localization is especially complex. Technological progress has favored the creation of products with highly developed hardware that many times gains the same importance as an animated movie or production. The translator must adapt to the special features of the source language and find the perfect equivalence in the target language, taking into account the terminology and uniqueness that characterizes each video game or saga.

The video game localization service must cover all the technical, linguistic and cultural aspects of the game for the user experience to be completely satisfactory.

Video game localization: success stories

Luckily, this specialized service is starting to gain more relevance when a new product is going to be launched onto the market. Here are five good examples of video game translation and localization.

1. PAPER MARIO: THE ORIGAMI KING (NINTENDO – 2020)

When a specialized gaming magazine granted it with the award for best localization in Spanish in 2020, there’s not much more to say. Spontaneity, resources and lots of creativity are the characteristics that make the translation and localization of a video game its best feature.

2. FINAL FANTASY IX (SQUARESOFT – 2000)

After the disastrous translation and localization of Final Fantasy VII, in which translators didn’t have access to any type of context, the approach was changed.

The result was excellent: they worked directly from Japanese, since translators didn’t have access to material in English, and they had much more freedom to unleash their creativity, providing a different register to each character, with their expressions and accents, playing with each one of their names, the attacks, spheres, etc.

3. NI NO KUNI: WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH (LEVEL-5 – 2011)

Translation and localization in Spanish also stood out in this video game. Special shout out to the task carried out with the Magician’s Vademecum, a book within the game whose pages are collected, where you can find stories, spells and advice that elevate the game’s universe. Word play with the characters’ names also stands out.

4. 13 SENTINELS: AEGIS RIM (ATLUS – 2019)

A dystopian story with time leaps and 13 lead roles and intertwined storylines that meant a great effort in Spanish translation and localization with an extraordinary result that turns it into one of the best-told stories in this language.

5. DRAGON QUEST IX: SENTINELS OF THE STARRY SKIES (NINTENDO – 2009)

When Spanish translation and localization is remembered by gamers a decade later, quality is unquestionable.

Good video game translation and localization requires creativity, perfect command of the product’s source language, a native knowledge level of the language, culture and idiosyncrasy of the target community and, of course, experience in the world of video games.

Liguaserve’s video game translation and localization service guarantees counting on the best professionals so that the end result is as successful as the 5 previous success stories.

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