4 Reasons To Take Your Game International

Please Note: This blog is a translated version of the original Japanese blog which is specifically written for Japanese game companies. The above subsidiaries can only be provided to companies based in Japan. You can read the original Japanese version here.

We often hear from clients that they’re not inclined to localize or release games internationally because they don’t know whether it’ll make any money. Not wanting to invest money into localization and PR because you’re not sure if the game will sell is completely understandable. However, as a localization company, we want as many games as possible to be seen by as many people as possible, and of course, we want to do our job and localize. So, we took the time to think of four reasons why you should release your game internationally.

1.      A Large Market

Do you know how large the gamer population is? Halfway through 2020, there were apparently 3.1 billion gamers in the world. Japan has around 52 million, so the rest of the world contains about 60 times the amount of people. Not to mention the global game market in 2020 was worth about 20,640 billion yen (nearly 180 billion USD), 10 times that of the Japanese market. Just looking at this data makes you question why someone wouldn’t want to localize their game internationally.

2.      Recovering Development Costs

You hear about the rising costs of game development due to recent advances in game technology. Since that’s the case, it seems very difficult to recover those expenses with only a domestic release. As you can see from the data above, globally, the game market is far greater than that in Japan, and there are an overwhelming amount of gamers. It’s very possible to recover the costs of development with an international release. Of course, localizing a game doesn’t guarantee profits, so it is a hard decision to make; but that’s why knowing which countries the localized content is suitable for is so important.

3.      Games are Easier to Sell Nowadays

When you have an international release, it doesn’t end with localization—you have to sell the game, too. However, compared to the past, games are much easier to get out there. Steam especially has been growing in popularity, and thanks to that, even independent developers can sell a game worldwide. Just uploading a game to the store can see it falling to obscurity, so we recommend using influencers and other PR tactics to market your game in the locale you’re trying to sell in.

4.      Corporate Branding

We believe that having your titles known by more people will have a huge impact on future sales. Being known by gamers in other countries could even lead to hiring international engineers.

So what’s the verdict? Yes, international releases do require some investment, so we understand why companies would hesitate to make the call to localize. Perhaps reading the above reasons has changed your mind? If not, know there’s another benefit of an international release: the chance to collect subsidies from those countries (see below for reference).

There are also subsidies you can get from the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.


Half or one-third of the localization cost can be subsidized up to 20 million yen (about 174 thousand USD) per project and up to 40 million yen (about 347 thousand USD) per company. The application deadline for this year is very tight—January 31, 2022—so don’t miss news about J-LOD for the next fiscal year.

Consider looking into international releases as a new initiative in 2022. If you do, we at AGM have got you covered, not just with the localization, but with PR and customer support as well.

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