Friday, July 5, 2013

Will game localization play a big role in the future of gaming?

Language will always play big role when it comes to any entertainment industry. While games do generally speak to us with their gameplay mechanics, we tend to miss half of the experience because of the language they speak. For example, In Saudi Arabia, and pretty much most places in the Arab world, gamers tend to lose interest in games that are heavy in text and narrative.

Lately, however, Arab gamers have begun noticing a frequency in the number of localized games. Ubisoft Abu Dhabi have released their second social Smurf game, Smurfs and co. 2: Spellbound, will be fully localized in Arabic. They have also announced an Arabic localized version of Prince of Persia 2: The shadow and the Flame for mobile platforms. Konami will also be fully localizing PES 2014 in Arabic and will include (for better or worse) famed Al-Jazeera commentator Raouf Khlif.

Can we see these as a positive sign and a future where big AAA games be localized in Arabic? Hard to say at this point. But the facts are countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE have a huge gaming community and international game companies are starting to notice.

 As we slowly begin our journey to the next generation, language barriers need to be looked at in a more serious manner. At the end of the day it's a barrier; one that needs to be taken seriously.


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