Chinese Game Challenges: Tencent’s First Attempt at World Domination
by Ben Wilkinson
The Chinese games market has been booming in recent years, being valued at $26 billion in 2017, and has been battling against the United States in the past few years for the spot of the highest-valued games market in the world. This young and ever-growing market has seen the inception and meteoric rise of two of China’s most prominent game developers and publishers: Tencent and NetEase, which in 2018 owned 69% of the gaming market in China combined. In recent years, Tencent has been increasing its influence in the West through the acquisition of lucrative American companies such as Epic Games and Riot Games, and has made attempts to enter a number of its own home-grown IP into foreign markets outside of China.
The Challenge of Localizing Video Games for Latin American Spanish
by Marina Ilari
As a kid, I did a lot of pretending with my younger brother. We would talk through our toys and act out all kinds of scenarios with them. What I didn’t realize at the time is that the voices we gave our toys didn’t sound like our Argentinean voices at all. Our toys actually spoke neutral Latin American Spanish because that’s what we were accustomed to hearing actors use on TV and in movies. Looking back, I think it is pretty strange that our own toys — our own imaginary characters — did not speak the same way we did. It was almost as if they were from some faraway land that had little to do with our own culture and dialect.
Multimedia means Engagement
by Jessica Roland
An article published in Scientific American in 2012 asserted that “[s]ensory crosstalk helps us navigate the world.” It seems that humans are hard-wired with the ability to deal with multiple sensory inputs. It’s not surprising, therefore, that multimedia is so attractive and effective as a communications technique, especially during these pandemic times when there’s a distinct lack of face-to-face contact and interaction.
Multilingual multimedia production is one of the most interesting and high-growth areas in the localization industry, and the pandemic has only accelerated its growth. Our own experience shows a huge increase in demand. Media production increased by 50% in the last 4 months of 2020, a testament to the need for media content and how we responded to COVID-19 requirements.
Is Fully Automated Multimedia Localization Possible?
by Radek Buchlovsky
Multimedia takes on many forms, some of them easy to localize — like a simple website or an animation — and others more difficult. Video is probably as complicated as it gets. A dream state would be to localize video, accurately, on-brand, on-message and adapted to cultural sensitivities, with no human intervention. If this were to happen, content creation for international markets would increase at an exponential rate that would surprise even the most global of brands. The benefit? Consistently reaching current and new markets with relevant, timely, on-brand content that will meaningfully engage your customers with your product and ultimately increase sales and brand awareness. Plus, your operation is cost-effectively running 24/7, saving you time and money while increasing efficiency.
Machine Translation for Games
An interview with Mikhail Gorbunov
by Yulia Akhulkova
Russia-based Social Quantum is ranked among the top ten biggest game publishers in Russia and Eastern Europe. The mobile game developer has created such titles as Megapolis, Wild West: New Frontier, Dragon’s World, Ice Age World, and Poker Jet, and is in the process of making a few more new ones. The company has also been conducting successful experiments in the area of machine translation (MT) and machine translation post-editing (MTPE). Mikhail Gorbunov, head of localization at Social Quantum, shared his insight on the company’s MT initiative.
How NMT is Revolutionizing Subtitling
by Evgeny Matusov
Advances in neural machine translation (NMT) technology have media and subtitling com-panies now relying on it to assist translators in post-editing workflows. However, while NMT certainly offers a productivity boost, cost and resource utilization benefits are still constrained by the limits of most popular machine translation (MT) systems.
That’s because off-the-shelf MT systems function rather like a black box ― you input data, and the system outputs the translation in running text format, which translators then turn into subtitles by incorporating corrections and text segmentation as needed. Fewer MT errors and faster turn-around can be expected when an off-the-shelf solution is replaced by a NMT system customized to the media and entertainment domain using available in-domain data from this industry vertical.
Simple Steps to Improve Game Localization
by Arle Lommel
Localizing gaming applications is very different from typical enterprise applications in many ways. It poses particular challenges that may not apply to other kinds of content. Many games work because they succeed in building a compelling and immersive experience in a virtual world, one that engages and sustains a sense of believability throughout gameplay. Subpar localization that jars users out of the story can annoy gamers and create a poor experience.
Contrast this with typical office or productivity applications where poor localization may be an irritation, but is far less likely to render the product itself less acceptable. For instance, language serves a supporting role in a spreadsheet, but the application’s core functions do not typically change from market to market.