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Unlocking Global Gaming Success: How to Choose the Right Game Localization Service

Game localization services are critical to your successful global expansion. The question? How do you choose the right agency for your needs? 

OneSky is the leading localization agency for game creators and developers. We’ve been in the industry for years, catapulting indie games and enterprise games alike to their respective global markets. As such, we know there are plenty of options out there—whether you’re considering doing it yourself or using an agency-led project management process

We’re here to show you exactly what you need to look for as you search for the right localization agency for your needs, keeping you as efficient and cost-effective as possible as you prepare your product for the global market. 

Read on to learn more about the benefits you can gain from in-game localization and agency features to watch for as you search for support for your game localization project. We’ll also be covering common pitfalls and solutions to help you navigate the hiring process in confidence. 

Understanding the Importance of Game Localization

The global gaming market value is estimated to reach $665.7 billion by 2030, making it a lucrative and cost-effective venture to consider for many. However, game developers can’t get a piece of the market value without a proper localization strategy in place—which is where video game localization service vendors can come in. 

We’ve seen it firsthand—players don’t just look for content across different languages while gaming. Instead, they want an immersive, recognizable, and impactful gaming experience that matches what they see in their day-to-day life. 

This begins with the incorporation of cultural nuances in-game and through other channels (such as accurate subtitling)—a process that is otherwise known as localization. 

Features of a Reliable Game Localization Agency

Now that you know the value that game translation and localization can bring to your product, it’s time to cover the features to watch for as you choose your game localization agency. 

  • Comprehensive language offerings. A high-quality game localization agency will offer a wide range of available languages and dialects for the most precise translation possible. 
  • Experience in the gaming industry. Working with a vendor that has years of experience in the gaming industry saves you some pretty steep learning curves—and gives you the benefit of niche-specific knowledge that can fuel your growth. 
  • Cultural consultants and native translators on staff. Your language service of choice should offer localization solutions staffed by both cultural consultants and linguists. Marrying the two fields of expertise into one cohesive and interactive experience for your global audience is the best possible outcome—and it’s a feature that quality game translation services will offer you. 
  • Speedy turnaround without compromising quality. Gamers are always looking for the next amazing game. However, taking the time to produce quality work is important to protect your brand image. Professional, high-quality game localization companies can provide you with high-quality, fast-turnaround results that are well-produced and profit-ready. 

Key Considerations When Choosing a Game Localization Agency

No two agencies are alike. Every option out there has its positives and drawbacks. Here’s our checklist of considerations to take when you’re selecting a game localization agency—ensuring that you have the best possible fit for your video game translation and localization needs. 

1. Review their past projects and client testimonials

This is the best, most honest way to review if an agency will serve your needs. Clients have no reason to lie—and they can highlight pros and cons that may not otherwise be obvious from an agency’s marketing materials. 

As you review testimonials and past project content, you’ll want to keep your eye out for a few key elements: 

  • User experience-related content and comments: User experience (UX) can vary across markets and is an element of gameplay that everyone experiences. As such, localization experts have to take special care that UX content is relevant to the region they plan to publish in, instantly impacting new market users and their perception of the game and brand. 
    • With this in mind, prospective agency clients should look for proof that an agency incorporates UX considerations in its portfolio work. Clients may also make mention of user experience testers and support in their comments, which can indicate the level of awareness that your prospective agency might have of this need. 
  • Voice-over support and other comprehensive help: When you’re looking for an agency, you’re likely looking for as comprehensive of a solution as you can get. This means that you may be looking for dubbing support, localized voice-over assistance, or other touches that might make your game appeal more to native speakers. 
    • While these perks may be evident in their published portfolio work or client comments, be sure to ask about any “extras” you want to see in your sales and intro calls. You’ll want to ensure that your free quote is as accurate and comprehensive as possible. 
  • Localization testing: Every agency does localization testing differently. We recommend scrolling the comments to gain some insight into how your specific agency addresses this need. 

2. Check their understanding of gaming lingo and terminology

It’s easy to get lost in the lingo, especially when there may be different languages involved. Ensuring that your experts are well-versed in both the language of the industry and your target language(s) is critical to the success of your project. 

Common target language options to ask about include: 

  1. Chinese 
  2. Japanese
  3. English
  4. French
  5. German
  6. Korean
  7. Spanish
  8. Italian
  9. Portuguese
  10. Thai

Top countries and markets by video game revenues

Top countries and markets by video game revenuesImage Source

Ensuring that the agency of choice has a firm grasp on terminology from the start gives you insight into the possible quality of their game localization process for the target market, as well as their overall level of knowledge within the industry. 

3. Ensure they have a solid quality assurance process

Even the smallest mistakes can impact the profitability of your game. Checking to ensure that your agency of choice has inbuilt quality assurance checkpoints is vital, helping you to have one (or several) fail-safes in place prior to rollout. 

4. Gauge their flexibility in adapting to specific game niches or genres

Some agencies may be game or niche-specific. It’s helpful to check this prior to engaging with an agency, as the wrong fit could compromise your end product. If you don’t want to ask them directly, you may choose to scroll through their portfolio of previous clients served. Doing this can give you a direct look at an agency’s range and ability. 

Potential Pitfalls to Avoid

Looking to choose the best possible agency? We’ve got you covered. Here are some possible pitfalls you might encounter during your selection process—and strategies to help you avoid them. 

1. Going for the cheapest agency without considering the quality

It can be appealing to go with the cheapest possible option, especially since the costs of software development can be sky-high. However, this isn’t the best option—as cheap prices are often indicative of quality. 

To avoid this: You’ll want to walk the line between affordable and comprehensive services in your search, choosing one that meets your needs in a financially sustainable way. 

2. Overlooking cultural adaptation in favor of direct translation

Direct translation is like a highway to completion. You’ll get to your end destination quickly and reliably—but that’s about it. Conversely, translation and localization services coming together to create an immersive experience is like a scenic drive. It’s enjoyable, relaxing, and the obvious better choice for everyone involved. 

To avoid this: Switch your mindset from “quick completion” to “comprehensive completion,” trying instead to be as holistic as you can in addressing all of your clients’ inherent expectations in-game. 

3. Not considering post-localization support and updates

Most devs will tell you that you’re never truly “done” with your game—and they’re right. Post-localization support and updates are important elements to consider and include in your agency contract. Yet, many clients forget to do so. 

To avoid this: Be as proactive as possible as you negotiate your contract, and make it clear that you need ongoing support even after the rollout is completed. Focus on building a relationship with your agency for more sustainable support; rather than a short-term collaboration that concludes once the project is over. 

Questions to Ask Before Hiring

If you’re feeling stuck before your sales call, jot down these questions (and any others you might have). Every question below is designed to vet your agency options in the most efficient way possible, helping connect you with your dream solution sooner. 

What is your agency’s experience in your specific game genre?

Do you use tools like OneSky for translation management?

How do you handle updates or changes post-localization?

Can you provide references or case studies that showcase your ability to do similar work?

Partner with OneSky for All of Your Game Localization Needs

Finding the right game localization agency is critical to your launch success. This team will walk alongside you at every point in the translation and localization processes, ensuring that your content is as impactful as possible to your target audience. 

We understand the importance of this role—because we’ve been that partner to hundreds of developers and game creators like you. We’re proud to support the global gaming industry with award-winning localization and translation management services you can trust, provided by 1,000+ linguists over 50+ languages and dialects. 

Connect with the team at OneSky for more information and to start your project for free.

Mandy Fong

Head of Sales, OneSky

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