Approaches and Strategies to Cope with the Specific Challenges of Video Game Localization
Önen, Seçkin İlke
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Video games have become a global industry producing billions of dollars in revenue each year. For this reason, the importance of video game localization industry is increasing with each passing day. The aim of this study is to develop an understanding on the specific challenges posed by video game localization and examine the approaches and strategies employed by the localizers to overcome these challenges. To this end, the Turkish localizations of two popular games in Turkey, League of Legends and Football Manager 2015, have been choosen to be analyzed. Both qualitative and quantitative methods have been used to conduct this descriptive study. Relevant examples highlighting the challenges faced by the localizers of the games have been presented, and the source and target texts have been compared to assess the strategies employed by the localizers. The study demonstrates that video games with different genres and themes create their own unique localization-related challenges. While Football Manager 2015 mostly causes problems for the localizers due to lack of context and its use of variable text strings, the challenges of the localization process of League of Legends are mostly related to preserving the entertainment factor. Another finding of the study is that the localizers of both games have drawn upon target culture norms to create experiences that feel native. The analysis of the two games reveal that localizers working on video games have to be culturally aware, tech-savvy and have a strong grasp on gaming as a whole as well as the theme and genre conventions of the specific video game they are localizing. This study is carried out with the hope of making a contribution to this emerging field in Turkey and paving the way for further studies.