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General Discussion Forum » The Pub at MMORPG.COM » Questioning the process of localized games.

5 posts found
  Sephiroso

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/01/05
Posts: 1056

 
OP  2/16/13 6:20:43 PM#1

TL;DR: Just me being upset at how far behind some of the games i've enjoyed over the years are behind their over seas counterparts and speculating on just why this phenomenon is even a thing(as a justifiable reason of which i can only really see one).

 

Forgive me if i use the wrong terms but basically i am questioning the act of when a game is created in one part of the world, and it is popular enough that companies in other parts of the world wish to release it in their own so they get the rights to let people in their region play the game.

 

The above is a wonderful process as the best ideas come from all around the world and not just ones own. My issue with this process lies in the fact that when a game is localized, they are typically over 5 MAJOR CONTENT PATCHES behind. And most of those patches contain game breaking(for some people) fixes or just some really amazing aspects of the game that without them, alot of people won't find the game fun.

 

Now the only reason i can think of the original makers of the game would impose such harsh patch schedules is mainly, they want their game to be the premier version of it around the world, and thats understandable, but the amount of patches that other instances of the game around the world is just too vast. 1-2 major content patches would be acceptable, but anything over 2 is just to much in my opinion. The other is that, it isn't due to the fact that these original game companies impose limits to when they release the major content patches to other regions but due to the fact of either money involved to buy the rights to the patches or time involved to translate the information. If it is the latter two then i suppose this thread loses much of its steam.

 

Another major reason that i think is in part responsible is the tampering with the original game that most western game companies do to 'westernize' or for a better word 'bastardize' what once may have been an amazing game that  was actually fun to play into a horrible grind in order to string people along for more profits. It's well known western versions of games generally have lower drop rates, harder enchanting in games that have that feature, and certain 'grab bags' or 'alchemy tools(change x+x item into y item)' that is available in their over seas counterpart but is removed in the west.

Just to name a few examples however, Tera(especially when it was P2P), Maple Story, Just about any FTP really, and i can imagine we can add Blade&Soul if it ever gets finished...

 

To end this, forgive me if the games i named have caught up since the times i've played them and are indeed only 1 or 2 major content patches behind their original versions of the game(as i am going from memory, not research from current times). If so, then perhaps we're moving forward in the right direction for once. However, it won't change the fact that western companies still feel the need to tamper a game they saw that was good enough that they wanted to release in their own region, only to gouge and stab at it from all angles until whats left resembles swiss cheese.


Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13582

2/16/13 7:35:44 PM#2

Localization just means changing a game to release it in a different place.  It doesn't intrinsically mean that you have to change these things and not those things.  At minimum, it usually means translating the game (alas, not always translating it well).

Tweaking a few parameters to make it more acceptable to the new audience may not be that hard to do.  For example, it's probably pretty easy to double the rate of experience gain.  The Korean game market is far more accepting of grinding and ganking than the American market, for example.

Localization could mean changing artwork, but that's expensive, so a company typically won't do that unless they absolutely have to.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/16/13 9:19:26 PM#3

The delay in patches is often the result of two things: fitting it into QA and deployment process of the new developer and  localization.

QA and deployment entails much more than receiving a build and plugging it in, and the process becomes longer when there are deviations in the code between the original and the new version. This is exacerbated by the fact that localized games usually have a skeleton crew of devs that don't have much familiarity withthe code. Any programmer here that ever had to work on someone else's program can tell you about the inordinate amount of time spent just learning what the code is doing, finding all the relevant dependancies and figuring out what simply change in one area might completely break a routine in another.

Localization can be either simple translation or culturalization. The latter of those two takes far longer, because it's not just a literal translation, but the understanding of each and every line and rewriting it to fit the particular culture it is being recreated for.

 

It's a lot more work than just receiving a build, changing some strings and uploading it to the patch server.

 

 

 

 

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5620

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

2/16/13 9:36:21 PM#4

Funny story about localization. In some parts of Africa where literacy is low, people are used to seeing on the label whats inside the container. Imagine the horror when few of the customers saw a picture of a baby on a label for babyfood...Yeah they didn't sell well.

Anyhoo... some games have to go into lengths in order to satisfy the local authorities. Some countries do not allow Nazi symbols in them (France, Germany or both I can't remember). The German airplanes in War Thunder have black X's in place of swastikas. Silly, I know...

In Eastern cultures red is a masculine color whereas blue is feminine, contrary to the west. The amount of things we do and perceive differently is staggering. So its not just translation if you want to do it properly.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  craftseeker

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/11/09
Posts: 636

2/16/13 10:00:37 PM#5
Originally posted by Quirhid

Funny story about localization. In some parts of Africa where literacy is low, people are used to seeing on the label whats inside the container. Imagine the horror when few of the customers saw a picture of a baby on a label for babyfood...Yeah they didn't sell well.

Anyhoo... some games have to go into lengths in order to satisfy the local authorities. Some countries do not allow Nazi symbols in them (France, Germany or both I can't remember). The German airplanes in War Thunder have black X's in place of swastikas. Silly, I know...

In Eastern cultures red is a masculine color whereas blue is feminine, contrary to the west. The amount of things we do and perceive differently is staggering. So its not just translation if you want to do it properly.

From  "The IBM World" by Nancy Foy:

One Asia/Pacific veteran told of a visitor from headquarters who asked "How do you like the training stuff we are sending out from New York these days?"

"Some of it is okay"

"What do you mean 'some'? We are putting a lot of work and money into that stuff. Dont you appreciate it? How about our September selection of aids for the Fall Kickoff Meeting?"

"First of all," responded the weary countryman, "the word in English speaking countries out here would be 'autumn', not 'fall'. And below the equator, it is coming up to spring, not autumn. Finally, the word 'kickoff' relates to a uniquely American sport."

 

BTW The MMORPG common ability of  'Root" or the use ot the term "rooting" someone has an entirely different connotation in Australia.