Game Localization: Top 5 Reasons to Localize Games

Game Localization: Top 5 Reasons to Localize Games

๐Ÿ“ˆ Increase Your Downloads

Obviously for you as a game developer it is important that as many people as possible play your game and you can only achieve that by increasing your download numbers. Games that are localized have by far a higher chance of being downloaded. If you take China for example almost 100% of the top 100 apps are localized and its very similar in Korea and Japan as well. So the overall ROI of translating a game is very high in the very huge asian game markets because of the preference of their native languages but it also shouldn't be neglected in Europe. Game sales are very high in Germany, France or Spain and even though English is learned in the school many people prefer their native tongue and you also might not reach younger or older players that aren't at a english level that is good enough to understand your game.
In a survey released by Distimo App Analytics in 2012 called "The Impact of App Translations" it was revealed that companies which localize their applications gain 128% more downloads in every country.

๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿค‘ Increase Your Sales

According to a study from Common Sense Advisory rarely 60% of users buy from English-only websites and thats not much different for apps & games. So if your game is monetized with in app purchases you really want to make sure that the buying process as well as all buyable items are translated properly. A localized buying process generates more trust between you and your players which unsurprisingly converts into more purchases.
To sell more versions of your game you also need make sure that players can find it on the appstore but then you should also make sure to properly translate all your screenshots and gameplay videos to make the buying decision much easier for your potential customers.

๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ†๐ŸŽ–๏ธ Keep Players Engaged

For free to play games it is incredibly important to quickly engage players and a localized game helps there tremendously.
Jesse Divnich, the vice president of insights and analysis at video game research and consulting company EEDAR, told Venture Beat "The window of opportunity to get a user addicted to your title is measured in minutes, not hours or days, and it remains a constant problem for independent developers." and he added that on an average a new mobile game is played only once every day, for about 23 minutes, and total disengagement tends to happen in only two days which means that there is very short time for the developer to explain all features and monetize the user. If the game as well as leaderboards and highscores aren't properly localized the engagement typically drops much earlier.

๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ Be Ahead of Competition

According to app store metrics on Pocket Gamer there are about 400 apps submitted to the iTunes Appstore per day and 1/4 of the are games so developers need to find a way to stick out and be special. A translated game has a much higher chance of being installed over another game that is not localized. Also if the game has better quality translations than its competition its also much more likely that the players stay engaged.

๐Ÿ“Š๐Ÿš€๐ŸŒ๐Ÿš€๐ŸŒž Get a Higher App Store Ranking

According to App Annie the most important app markets are the USA, China and South Korea and as you can see 2 of them are not speaking english so you need to think global if you want to market your game. And even though its great being on a top spot in the us Appstore its much more desirable to be on top spots or featured in the 150+ other country App Stores and you only achieve that by localizing your game.
If you localize your game you are able to use keywords in multiple languages and translated keywords will have a big impact on how players an find your game in the appstore.
Appstore optimisation (ASO) and especially keyword localization also lets you increase the number of keywords that you can use because for example in the us App Store also the Spanish keywords are used to find your app.