A survey by Google has found that PC and console gamers in Asia-Pacific place more importance on localization than such gamers in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and North America. More than 14,000 gamers worldwide took part in the 2022 survey, which aimed to obtain insights into player behavior and priorities.
Of respondents in Asia, 70% said that it was “very” or “extremely” important that games are localized for their country or region. In contrast, only around half of gamers surveyed in EMEA and North America gave localization the same importance.
While not sharing country-specific figures, Google said that, of the twelve Asia-Pacific countries included in the survey, localization was rated as particularly important by respondents in China, Vietnam, and India.
Google’s survey also looked at key gaming trends across regions, and found that Asia-Pacific is ahead of the curve when it comes to esport adoption and participation in game-related communities.
For game localization providers, South-East Asia — and India in particular — are attracting increased interest as factors such as increased mobile use, improving infrastructure and esport adoption drive demand. (See Slator’s Game Localization Report for more in-depth analysis on the game localization market and localization trends in Asia-Pacific).
Speaking to Slator at the end of 2022, Tugdual Delisle, Managing Director at Lionbridge Games said, “the potential exists for India to become a very significant, globally-acknowledged creative hub.”
Delisle went on to say, “With the merger of entertainment and games like IPs from games to movies, and movies to games [India] is also going to be a center for IP creation at some stage and some of our competitors are already there.”
“Good or Excellent” Game Translations
Google’s survey also explored how gamers perceive the quality of the translations they interact with in games. Overall, the response was positive; three-quarters of gamers surveyed said that game translations are of a “good” or “excellent” quality.
Between the three regions — Asia-Pacific, North America, and EMEA — minimal variance was found with respect to how translation quality is perceived.
However, Google revealed, within Asia-Pacific there was “room for improvement” in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Meanwhile in Europe, translation quality in Denmark, Finland and Sweden was found to lag behind that of their fellow EMEA countries.
Further to the survey of PC and console players, Google also ran a parallel study of players who primarily play games on their mobile devices. Results again showed that a greater proportion of players in Asia-Pacific saw localization as important, compared to players in other regions.
Google’s survey also takes a closer look at Brazil and Mexico, finding that Brazil in particular values country-specific localization with 81% of PC and console players, and 77% of mobile players rating localization as “very” or “extremely” important.