If you have a computer, tablet or smartphone, then you are no stranger to online gaming. From more simplistic applications like online poker and Candy Crush to more complex games, such as World of Warcraft and Ingress, the universe of mobile games offers virtually everything a smartphone user can dream of. For game developers and producers, the ever-growing market for mobile devices and users which are increasingly willing to pay for a better gaming experience has led to astonishing growth rates, especially in China.
In fact, China’s gaming industry is an excellent example of the online game explosion. Since 2010, the foreign sales of online games developed in China have exploded, quickly growing from $60 million in revenue during the first half of 2010 to estimated revenue of $800 million during the first half of 2014. This astonishing number means that China’s gaming sector grew by over 1200% in just four years. Leading the charge in China’s race to the top of the mobile gaming sector is the Beijing-based Perfect World Technology Company which produces the popular and professional Perfect World games.
But how, among the myriad of games produced in China and around the world on a daily basis, has Perfect World managed to create a recognizable gaming experience and translate their potential into lasting success? One important aspect of their success is translations. When developing new applications more the online gaming sector you have to be able to translate an experience across cultures. Rather than limiting their games to the, albeit big and fast-growing smartphone market in China, Perfect World is catering to a community of global users.
The process of creating a global gaming experience does, however, involve more than simply translating an application into multiple different languages, it also means to be able to transcend localized cultural prejudices. While Perfect World can generally be regarded as a success story for moving their gaming solutions beyond the virtual borders of China, they have, so far, failed to gain a significant foothold in one of the very biggest gaming markets, namely in Japan. Due to socio-cultural differences between Japanese and Chinese culture and potentially also as the result of the continued tensions between Japan and China, ,their gaming products have not been well received in Japan.
For the gaming industry as well as for any business considering global expansion, the example of Perfect World Technology can teach valuable lessons. Among these lessons, the most important one is being able to see and experience your product through the eyes of a user in a completely different market. Translating the vision of a game developed in China into an applicable and enjoyable reality in Japan, Germany, France, or the United States is the true test of a game developer.
EVS Translations is the translation company for the gaming industry. Based in Atlanta (USA) and Nottingham (UK), our gaming app translators, designers and IT specialists can offer you the technical expertise required for multi-language video game translation projects. We help gaming companies and game developers to expand into new markets by providing quality multilingual gaming translations and marketing localization services.