Localization is one of the few parts of the production process where you know you’ve done a good job when no one ever mentions it. A good localization isn’t intrusive and should make the player feel that no matter what language they’re playing the game in, that is the original.
- Capcom’s blog for Dragon’s Dogma
I recently returned from DevHour, an incredible industry conference in Mexico City. The organizers have done a fantastic job of bringing together game development talent from states across Mexico, making DevHour the largest conference specifically for game developers in Latin America. As a result, the conference is gaining more traction from organizations abroad, this year including talks by the IGDA, King.com, YetiZen, and TechBA Vancouver.
Since very little has been written about the nuances of game localization, particularly for languages outside of Japanese and English, I interviewed Language Automation’s Latin American localization team and gamers from the region, in addition to scouring gaming forums. This article reflects the compiled information – how linguistic differences across 20 Latin American countries affects immersion in games and how translators are able to compensate for these linguistic variations. I’m publishing this article in follow up to my DevHour presentation about game localization, in which I spoke about the complexities of global markets and why proper localization (and culturalization) is key.