At our company, while we work with Japanese game companies, many of our jobs comes from companies outside of Japan. Recently, our customer base in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, South America and the Middle East has been increasing. There are minor differences when working with game companies around the world, but no major differences in the process between countries.
Nonetheless, we give advice to our clientele from a Japanese perspective, as we’re located in Japan. So, what sort of information do we base our advice on for companies overseas? In today’s article I’ll write about localization in Europe and America.
1. The Power of English in the World and Languages to Localize Into
Games are made worldwide, but as you’d expect, most games are made in English. On top of being the world’s most-used language, there are countries where English is not the native language with a high proficiency in English, such as the following.
This link has a ranking of English proficiency by country broken up into 5 levels (very high, high, normal, low, very low). Of that, the countries ranked “very high” are listed below.
*Japan was categorized as #55 and “low.”
Source: EF English Proficiency Index
2. The World’s Game Market
Just because a game is localized or translated doesn’t guarantee sales. It also depends on the size of the target country’s market. Here’s a chart showing the top ten game markets with their native language and English proficiency rank.
Speaking with our clients outside of Japan, there are many who think of Japan, China, and Korea as one Asian market, but looking at the chart, it’s clear that’s not the case. If you want the sales, instead of localizing into Japanese alone, it might be better to localize into Chinese and Korean as well and release them into those three markets.
I’m sure you’re wondering the cost of localizing from English into other languages, and whether our company is more or less expensive compared to localization companies outside of Japan. To make a long story short, they’re likely about the same price or slightly more expensive than AGM.
The cost of translation changes based on the target language, but generally the market price is about from 0.12 to 0.15 EUR, or 0.14 to 0.18 USD per word or character.
Food for thought, right? We hope you’ll find this information useful for expanding your business overseas.
More Than Localization/Translation
Active Gaming Media is more than a translation company, we are a one-stop-shop for many of our clients. We provide a variety of services such as localization, promotion, voice over, community management and so much more.
Deep Dive – Cris Tales
Today, let’s dive into our promotion sector and let’s look at how we were able to pull off the Japanese promotion for the popular indie JRPG game, Cris Tales.
It all starts on the drawing board where our promotion team sits down, analyzes and discusses Cris Tales. We understood from the get go that since Cris Tales was heavily inspired by Japanese games, it was important to echo that through strong influencer and media outreach. Once we understood the players this game was made for and conducted our own internal market research for the game, we had a clear path ahead.
Press Release – 3 Press Release
AGM sent out multiple press releases to 60+ game media outlets in Japan and it was picked up by some of the top media outlets such as Famitsu, 4Gamer, and many more. These press releases were strategically timed to concentrate on subjects that would be really important to the Japanese gamers.
Press Release #1: Introducing Cris Tales to the Japanese Audience (Pre-Launch)
Press Release #2: Announcing official Japanese Release Date (Pre-Launch)
Press Release #3: Introducing Launch Trailer (Launch Day)
Media Interview – 7 Interviews
Once the word was out and people were engaging on social media about Cris Tales on Twitter, we knew we needed to hit the media pedal harder and were able to organize interviews with multiple game media outlets in Japan – AUTOMATON, GAME Watch, 4Gamer, Game.Spark and more. This deep dive into the game helped increase the Twitter conversation about Cris Tales and just like that even before it’s release, it created huge excitement among the gaming community.
Media – Banner Advertisements
Banner ads are really effective in the Japanese market and we set out to get Cris Tales the banner advertisements that would help it reach the correct target audience. We were able to secure multiple banner advertisements that generated an overall 1 million impressions.
Game Key Distribution (Media + Influencer) – 100+ Influencer Posts, 15+ Media Posts, Multiple Banner Advertisements and Giveaways
Getting the right influencer for the game is key. We set out to create a concrete list of influencers who we believe would be the perfect fit for Cris Tales and it’s genre. This was followed by key distribution with some top influencers and media getting exclusive first looks at the game and many more video uploads by influencers before and after the release of the game.
The AGM Difference
Doing a promotion is easy, doing a research based promotion like the one we conducted for Cris Tales is what sets AGM apart from the other promotion companies out there. We don’t have a boxed mentality when it comes to promotion, we are ready to experiment, take risks and provide the client the best possible marketing experience.