Gaming translation

At the dawn of video games, in the midst of arcades and their sound effects, the only language used was English. Children, teenagers and adults across the world learned to play Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter and Arkanoid by relying on their instincts for the commands and associating “INSERT COIN” with the excitement of a new game.

The video game industry exploded exponentially over the years, with more complicated titles in terms of plot, dialogue, graphics and playability. Today, if entertainment products were not translated, an enormous segment of the market would be excluded from the chance to enjoy its favourite games. Imagine playing an open-world fantasy RPG with a complicated plot and dialogue, where every detail is important for character development, with no translation. Fumbling through a game, totally in the dark, would be no fun at all.

The gaming experience has become more and more immersive as the world of video games evolves towards new platforms, virtual reality and even the multiverse. Here is where translation becomes the means to transport gamers into a different world and experience the full excitement of the game.

Game localisation

Localisation in the entertainment sector covers various kinds of titles and products, from apps and games for smartphones to video games of any genre, not forgetting our much cherished board games and playing cards.

Nowadays, the simship (simultaneous shipment) model is most commonly used by various publishers, who simultaneously distribute their localised title on different markets. This requires a short time to market and very specific work flows to ensure an impeccable final product.

Every title has varying needs:

  • translation of menu items, commands and in-game text in general
  • translation of strings of text with placeholders and tags
  • translation of dialogue for subtitling
  • translation of dialogue for dubbing or voice-over
  • translation of instruction manuals
  • translation of packaging and promotional material

This type of localisation poses various difficulties associated with the nature of the texts, their context, their format, wordplay, tags present and on-screen restrictions for length. Basically, video game translation is not for everyone, the right professionals are needed to create a usable product and ensure glitch-free entertainment!

Nothing is more annoying for gamers than an immersive gaming experience ruined by a translation that misses the mark. Rage quit because the instructions are intelligible? No, thanks!

Ready, set, go!

CMT offers professional and efficient localisation services for video games, games and apps. CMT’s game localisation services stand out for their overall quality, and not just for the quality of the translation itself. Firstly, a kick-off meeting allows us to fully understand the product, the type of file to be managed (Excel, Word, rtf, xml, srt, etc.) and the needs of the customer, who entrusts their project to dedicated project managers (and categorical nerds!) and receives a turnkey product. The translation is then carried out by specialist translators and reviewers who follow all the guidelines of the sector and those defined with the customer in terms of the style and communication needs associated with the target audience. Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools and translation memories make it possible to maintain maximum consistency across all elements of the game. The project manager’s supervision of every stage of the job guarantees a finished product that is fully aligned with the customer’s instructions, from colour coding to character limitations for text strings.

Localising products in the entertainment industry has never been so easy!