Ubisoft Abu Dhabi and Twofour54 have released their first localized game in Arabic; The Smurfs and Co. The free to play Facebook game allows you to take control of the iconic Smurfs and build your very own Smurf village--only this time it can be played in full Arabic.
Both companies have taken extreme measures to ensure localization is done well. Among the challenges faced were finding the right terms and making sure they flowed properly. If not translated well sentences, words, or phrases can be easily misinterpreted--a common mistake we see in our industry. Thankfully they were able to do some playtesting before releasing it into the public market.
Localization was performed by Ubisoft and Twofour54 and was not outsourced to a third party. Karim ‘Zafron', Ubisoft operations team member, overlooked most of the translation process and made sure the Arabic flowed properly.
It seems localization is slowly shifting forward in the region. Tomb Raider was recently released, fully dubbed in Arabic, and Fifa 13included full Arabic language and commentator support. Now we see Ubisoft Abu Dhabi and Twofour54 working their magic, so who knows what other titles we'll see. One things for sure, the idea of Arab gamers playing any game they in their native doesn't sound too far-fetched now.
If your interested, you can check out The Smurfs and Co. here. Arabic is available once you change your Facebook language at the bottom.