6 common problems of game localization that are overlooked

Gaming localization deals with the adaptation and modification of a game to make it according to the preferences and tastes of the target audiences. A game that they develop with American gamers in mind might have adjustment problems with Asian gamers. There could be cultural issues as well as other social taboos. In order to target a wider reach, game developers and owners have to consider game localization. This is particularly evident in targeting the regions that have massive potential gamers.

Video game translation services involve a challenging and technical process and have many downsides as well. The translators and localization experts too have to face challenges while working on it. In order to avoid the mishaps and challenges it is better to understand the process first and then embark on the journey of game localization. This is also significant for businesses and game developers as well to be sure of the process, knowing its basics before they indulge in the process. The proper understanding of the procedure goes a long way. It can help to interact with the translation and localization vendor in a productive manner. Carrying out the process with mutual understanding is vital to make it a huge success.

The game localization process comes with a lot of challenges and responsibilities. A few common yet important game localization problems that people often overlook are:


While working on the game localization companies, the translators and localization experts often deviate from the main process. This may come up as an easier fact however,  it is extremely vital to maintain the coherence in the localized content. Inaccuracies in the process can lead to mistakes and errors. Translators often overlook the factor of consistency ignoring the significance of maintaining it, particularly in the translated text. 


The text in game localization mostly needs to fit in limited space. It is extremely vital to take care of the conciseness while carrying out the process. Many times translators get carried away with long sentences and words and it gets testing to make these fit within a given space. It is extremely vital that the translators take into consideration that message and content boxes in the games and display screens are pretty small. However, despite being mindful of this factor they end up struggling with it. The translations require precision and accuracy. They need to keep it as short and to the point as possible in order to accommodate the limited space. However, things do get out of hand. Hence, it is also essential to convey the intended meaning and reserve the original tone.

Dealing with Slang

Video game translation services demand great expertise and technical insight. During the process, it gets challenging to keep track of everything. Hence wrong use of slang emerges as another serious problem. Many times the games rely on the slang factor and can only be enjoyed when the potential gamers get the slang the way it is intended to convey. However, translating it in an accurate manner is the foremost practice to ensure that players get it right. Translating slang as per the marketing norms of the target region is also important to avoid conflicts and controversies. Slang that is received well in Western games can go wrong with people from Asian cultures due to obvious differences in cultures. Thus, it also gets sensitive to take care of this aspect.


Humor also plays a vital part in the game’s localization. Multiple games come with humor as an inseparable part of it. However, mistranslating or misinterpreting can mess up the whole content and process of localization. Localizing a game is a delicate process and asks to consider certain sensitivities as well. The humorous elements also vary with the region. People have different compatibilities when it comes to being humorous. Identifying the type of humor and comparing it with the target region’s practices is crucial to avoid controversies. The humor element also has a great connection with one’s culture. The translators who lack the relevant cultural knowledge also end up struggling with this factor making it one of the most common problems faced by the team in the game localization process. 

Moreover, it is important to mention that the selected professional translation agency should keep training their translators and localizers to deal with the upcoming challenges.

Coding language

The applications, software, and voice games are composed of multiple programming and coding languages. These languages are the most complicated ones when it comes to translation. The developers get to interrupt the localization teams to take care of these factors. Many issues arise and the developers have to deal with certain technical glitches too. The files also get corrupted in the process and many go missing. This also makes translators need clarification and hence it is important for translators to keep on polishing their skills if they want to excel in game localization in the long run. Getting familiar with HTML and coding issues can also help to get away with such problems smoothly.

Format issues

Video localization strikes many challenges. Format issues are one of these. This is a common yet important problem to be addressed. This also creates problems with text and its placement. The languages and text have different lengths in different languages. Few languages are more concise and precise such as English, whereas others have more character length for instance in Greek. This leads to a number of format issues also disturbing the balance with the user interface. Therefore, it is also imperative to avoid literal translation and put more emphasis on conveying the meaning and its form.


Video game localization is a serious and challenging process. It comes with a lot of challenges. A few of the common problems that often get overlooked can ruin the whole process. Localizing a game even gets complex and testing for experienced and expert localization people. Therefore, it is important to take notes of common problems before indulging in the translation process. A few of these include consistency, conciseness, humor, coding language, and format issues.

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