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What is Video Game Localization and Why Is It Important

What is Video Game Localization and Why Is It Important

Video games are popular among a wide age group, from children to the elderly, as many people enjoy the engaging fictional worlds they offer. Since video games involve storytelling, they are best enjoyed when experienced in one’s own culture and language. This is where localization comes into play.

What is Video Game Localization?

Game localization is the process of adapting a video game and its content to a target culture and language. This involves culturally and linguistically tailoring elements such as spoken dialogues, instructions, characters, game manuals, marketing assets, and everything within the game to suit the target market.


Game localization is crucial for creating a more immersive and engaging experience for players who speak different languages and come from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Why is Video Game Localization Important?

Achieving a global reach with one version of a game in one language across diverse markets is unlikely since people prefer to have authentic experiences. Since the gaming world is universal, localization of games is a vital strategy, and at this point, a necessity for companies looking to succeed.

Video game localization can leave a lasting impact, and build a stronger player base, establishing a bigger market and ultimately more revenue.

Here is why video game localization is vital in 2024:

  1. Culture: Tailoring cultural references to the target market and its history is vital. For example, let’s examine the game “Honor of Kings,” widely popular in China, which was introduced to Western markets under the title “Arena of Valor.” Notably, only the Chinese version of the game includes the term ‘Kings,’ reflecting the historical significance of monarchs in Chinese culture. In contrast, in Western regions like the US, the term ‘Kings’ holds less cultural relevance, given the absence of a monarchical history in the country.
  2. Language: As of 2023, an estimated 1.46 billion people worldwide spoke English, constituting approximately 18.07% of the global population, or nearly 1 in 5 people. According to a study by CSA Research, 65% of respondents expressed a preference for content in their native language, even if the quality is lower. This preference extends to video games, as players seek authentic experiences tailored to their own cultures and languages.
  3. Regulations: In some countries, it may be legally required to remove or adapt sensitive content, such as alcohol, violence, or nudity.

The Benefits of Video Game Localization

Localizing video games offer a great benefit for companies looking to build a global audience:

1.   Gain Competitive Edge

Video game localization services offer a chance to establish a place in the very competitive industry, allowing companies to gain market shares in target markets where competitors haven’t localized their content.

2.   Increase Revenue

Localization of video games is a good strategy to attract new customers and generate additional revenue. According to Statista, only 35% of gamers use English as their main language on Steam, which means that by localizing video games, companies can build a global audience, receiving a strong return on investment.

3.   Increase Customer Loyalty

Video game localization showcases to players in local markets that your company is global and cares for its audience. This is also a great marketing strategy for building meaningful connections with your audience. It leads to brand advocacy, which means that your audience is not only loyal to you but also engages in marketing for you through word-of-mouth or even user-generated content.


4.   Go Viral

There are many influencers in the video game industry who stream online for hours, promoting video games as they play. These influencers have large audiences who follow them to explore new and fresh games. If your video game manages to attract the attention of such an influencer, the outcome may be even bigger than expected: your game could become viral content on the internet.

Challenges and Considerations in Game Localization

While the benefits of video game localization are undeniable, the process is not without its challenges.

  1. Cultural Adaptation: Adapting content to suit different cultural contexts requires careful consideration and understanding of cultural norms, values, and sensitivities.
  2. Technical Limitations: Technical constraints such as font support, text expansion, and platform compatibility can pose challenges during the localization process.
  3. Cost and Resource Allocation: Localization can be a resource-intensive process, requiring investment in video game localization services, QA testing, and project management.


Although there are some challenges in the process of video game localization, it is a great strategy for businesses looking to establish a global presence.


What is Video Game Localization and Why Is It Important