Summary: FIGS is not enough for game localization any more and has been joined by zhCN+brPT+RU to create a “Magnificent Seven Standard” in the loc industry, while Turkish, Malay, and Hindi demonstrated tremendous two-year growth.
LocalizeDirect H1 2019 localization data revealed 10 the most popular languages in game localization. Most frequently, game developers translated games into German, European French, European Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
These 10 languages accounted for over 80% of the overall word count, from a pool of 44 languages. Proofreading and LQA services were excluded from the report.
Due to gamers high purchasing power, commonly, FIGS (French, Italian, German, Spanish) were integral to game localization, accounting for around 40-45% of the total word count. However, this list is now supplemented with Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Russian that creates an increased potential reach of more than 1.2 billion people.
Traditional and Simplified Chinese had an almost equal share and together accounted for more than 10%, covering the markets of China, Hong Kong, and Chinese-speaking gamers in Malaysia and Singapore.
Swedish, Polish, Turkish, Dutch, Latin American Spanish, Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), European Portuguese, Danish, Norwegian, and Arabic altogether supplied 15% of the translation pool.
There is an ever-growing demand on “uncommon” languages, with Turkish, Malay, and Hindi becoming the fastest-growing languages in the past three years, followed by Thai and Polish.
Emerging markets with a high number of gamers are extremely attractive for developers and publishers whose games employed the F2P model. Not to mention gaming platforms like Steam where over 70% of players speak English, Simplified Chinese or Russian.
More about trends in game localization can be found in LocalizeDirect’s 2018 research.
LocalizeDirect is a game localization company providing translation, localization QA and CMS services for the game development industry. LocalizeDirect is based in Sweden, England, and Vietnam with a number of sales, localization & QA managers working across the globe.