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Author: IgnitedGames

Contributors: WonderKing,RoshOnline,Dark_Eden,

Challenges of Localization in Different Regions

Posted by WonderKing Friday July 10 2009 at 9:54AM
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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.


Trucidation writes:

Huh. People, and therefore players, are generally the same all over the world, minus cultural differences. If a system sucks, you'll get the same response whether you poll asians or westerners.

The article says a "contest" received different responses. What kind of contest? If there are many cultural elements or region-specific nuances then of course you're going to see differences. On the other hand, from my experience playing most F2P MMOs there isn't much "cultural" wiggle room for misunderstanding as, largely, the content in the games are mostly made-up rather than based on folklore.

Side note... when you mention "localization" it pretty much means "translation" to me, as a gamer, because I've seen too many godawful translations in MMOs, and sadly they seem to be the norm. Simply hiring better translators will make a larger noticeable difference rather than have someone explain the legend of the bunny pounding rice cakes on the moon to a, say, german player. I mean, jeez, when even "leet doodz" will jump on your forums and flame you for simple typos surely it would be money better spent fixing on the obvious problems first. The subtler problems can wait - after all, you're ignoring them now anyway (what it looks like to us players) - because not as many players will notice them.

Fri Jul 10 2009 8:56PM Report
bigdaddysfe writes:

Hopefully you can "localize" how to take care of the hackers that make up about 60%-75% of the popluation right now. Noone ever wants to see another Maple Story circa 2005-2006. You need to get that taken care asap. Even if it is closed beta, first impressions might be the only ones you get to make. I already know many people who will never play this game again based on the fact that every map they were walking into was hacked.

Alot of people can get past the fact that this is a MS clone, most MS players are looking for something else so you actually have an advantage with that. However, they will not relive the easy levels and items people got from hacking and will not play and certainly not give you any revenue which makes you and NDoors both look bad.

The next blog you do here should focus expressly on that and exactly what steps you are going to take to fix it.(Protip: getting rid of Gameguard should be the first thing, it is horrible security)






Mon Jul 20 2009 5:03PM Report
warty writes:

'localize' the removal of gameguard IMO.

Sat Jul 25 2009 6:53AM Report
luckypotato writes:

As long as i can hit max level if i played 10 hours a day, for 4 weeks, ill play this game.If it takes any longer to hit max level.. well.. i hate grind fests. As the majority of the US mmo players hate grind.

Also, as me being a guy. I do not want my character to look bright, colorful, fruity, and cute. I want to look dark, sinister, cool, calm, deadly. Please make it so that i dont look like a man in girls clothes in the game.

Also, it would be great if you could make some dark-er looking areas. I dont want to be killing cute jelly monsters and bee's. I want to be killing deadly and sinister dragons.


While im sure some people disagree with my thoughts, i am sure that other people will also agree with my thoughts.


In short:

Dont make this game a grind-fest like maplestory

Dont let every dungeon, every item; every city look "cutesi".

Tue Jul 28 2009 7:43PM Report
Trucidation writes:

Looks are secondary. If they are going for an overall cutesy look well then too bad. After all, people attracted to 2D style games are generally not the same crowd as the 'zomg hardkore' 3D PvP people. I agree we need more variety but this looks like a done deal already.

I dislike grindfests either even though I actually like grinding. The thing is most devs "save" content for the end levels (the WoW raid trap...), which is why most grinders are boring, because there IS nothing to do before you finish grinding to the end levels.

I don't care if a game has 999 levels and needs 5 years to max even if you play 24/7, IF IT HAS GOOD CONTENT ALONG THE WAY. Jeez people, this is a game, not a race. If you're too busy trying get to some hypothetical "end" to "win", then perhaps you'd like to play something more focused.

This is a problem most designers face in their games too. It's pretty obvious from the way they create content. Everything is focused on the high level guys, while everyone else is told to grind and do the boring afterthought fetch quests. Little wonder all these crap games lose players as fast as they gain them.

Mon Aug 03 2009 1:54AM Report writes:
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