Video game localization (or translation) delves deeper than the translation of text from one language to another — although this is an important part of the process. Video games often contain cultural references or aspects of humor that are particular to an individual culture and its history. Video game translation focuses on translating these cultural and historical references, as well as instances of regional slang and censorship regulations.
Abiding by censorship law is also a massive part of video game translations. Censorship regulations are not the same in every country, particularly when it comes to matters such as violence and gore in gaming (a popular component of many storylines within the gaming world). This has to be taken into account carefully throughout the video game translation process. Other changes made during the localization of a video game are more drastic and require specialized development work. These include changing background music to fit with music trends within a certain culture, changing entire scenes within a game so that they abide by a culture’s preference and familiarities, game menu edits to translate for left-to-right versus right-to-left languages, renaming and redesigning characters so that they do not conflict with public figures in a particular country, and much more.
Ultimately, video game translation enriches a game for multiple cultures. It is essentially the act of developing a list of entirely separate pieces of gaming software for the benefit of each country. While this sounds like a great deal of hard work and dedication, it is an excellent way to maximize sales and prove the high-quality nature of your product to a worldwide audience. Video game translation is about inclusivity and breaking barriers between different cultures in the world of gaming.