Localization is only one part of a game, but to take a country’s situation and tradition into heart and to realize that you can accrue new wisdom, even at our age, is truly enlightening. Making a complete game is important, but preparing it in a way to fit a user’s taste is paramount. Whenever we take up a new project, we enter with a renewed mind and heart and it always turns into a joyous experience.
The first thing we take into account when performing any localization process is the various cultural differences among regions. For example, Korean and Japanese users have very different dispositions that dictate how a game should be, so when we were making a game for these two regions, we felt that we were making an entirely new game for each one. The contrast in the responses we received from the two countries is best exemplified in a particular contest that received dismal responses from users in Korea, but was wildly popular in Japan. Because of this contrast, there were instances when we distributed different patches that had particular contents that we did not release in the other one because of the contrast.
Another aspect to consider is differing time zones. Since Korea and Japan are very close in proximity, there was only a three minute difference in time zones. However, the sixteen hour gap between Korean and North American regions really pushed us to our limits. In North America, the sixteen hour time difference issue was the biggest hardship we faced. When localizing a product, we need a communication link with the person in charge of operations in each country. However, due to the time difference, we had a limited amount of time to discuss important matters. The North American branch leader and I decided to work the night shift in order to extend the time that we were able to communicate with other branches. Looking back, we expended a lot of energy to prevent that issue from becoming an inconvenience. It was all worth it to see the success. This gap, coupled with the differing sentence structures between English and Korean/Japanese, caused us to encounter a variety of other localization issues as well.
Although there were many challenges to localizing in different countries, we also had some strong points. Determining the desires and necessities of our local users, and creating a system to produce suitable items to fit them, was definitely a strong suit in our operation. In truth, due to version control problems, it wasn’t easy to implement a system for local users to access items easily, nor was it easy to introduce said system. However, even if those aspects of our operation felt cumbersome, we wanted to introduce this product on a national scale, not just a local scale. We felt that we were able to come up with items and a system to obtain these items that were accepted by each and every country. We felt that the system and the introduced items satisfied our users greatly. We hope to continue to provide quality products to our users and know that with each new challenge comes a huge success.