Let's Talk About Localization!


Localization Squirrels

So you want to make sure that players who speak other languages and live all around the world can play your game! Even if you’ve already created a system within the game to use translated text, the costs for this can balloon quite a bit depending on 3 main factors:

Translating a language is contextual, and sometimes nuanced, so it’s not just about how many words but how they are used since languages can differ on meanings and context for some things. Let’s say you have dreams of building a game the size of Chrono Trigger and want to translate it to the 10 most popular languages on Steam (great!). How much would you need to budget for that? Let’s break this down a bit more specifically:

Porting Information

So, let’s look at the the cost on a basic level:

60,000 words x $0.14 per word x 10 languages = $84,000

That’s a lot of money and we haven’t even started talking about implementing them, testing them, or making the rest of the game. It also doesn’t include the Store text or other things you might need. Wow!

Maybe you decide to scale back a bit, and cut the script to be less wordy and use a lot of pictures instead or something. Now you have only 6,000 words to translate and that dramatically cuts the cost down to $8,400. But what if that’s still too much and you can only afford English only? Does that work?

Sort of. When planning or budgeting for localization, it’s important to keep in mind that while in-game localization may not be required, for certain platforms, store page text and descriptions may be required in other languages regardless so make sure you check your contracts carefully as to what is needed. Also, without localization to certain languages, it is possible that some regions just won’t buy your game (or significantly less than if it were translated!). Need help figuring out when to plan for this? Contact us and let us know! We also made a handy chart for overall planning of your game’s release.


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